Vitiligo is a skin condition where patched of the skin lose their pigment cause it to become white. It affects almost 3 million Brazilians. Although there are numerous treatments to fight the condition, the most difficult aspect to cope with is other people’s prejudice toward those who suffer from it.
João Stanganelli, now 65, decided to use the art of crochet to increase the joy and improve the self-esteem of children with vitiligo.
According to Brightside, Stanganelli began to show signs of vitiligo at 38. He worked in the gastronomy industry, but, due to a heart problem, his life radically changed last year.
He didn’t allow this obstacle to put limits on his life. That’s when he decided to develop a hobby to keep his mind healthy, active, and happy. And so, along with his wife Marilena, he decided to learn to crochet.
He says that crocheting has quite an addictive allure – once you become accustomed to the rhythm (and the callouses on the fingers), it is hard to stop!
It wasn’t an easy task for him and he even considered giving up, but decided to persevere. After 5 days, he had already crocheted his first doll.
He said that his original idea was to make dolls for his granddaughter, and wanted to do something special so that she would always remember him. He decided to knit a doll with vitiligo, and so, Vitilinda, a pretty doll with spots and uneven skin, was born.
After the success of Vitilinda, Stanganelli decided to do more inclusive crochet works. Next, dolls in a wheelchair came along, and everyone just fell in love with them, which made his work even more rewarding.
The most important goal for Stanganelli is to improve the self-esteem of children who live with this skin condition and to cheer them up.
More info: Joao Stanganelli
“My view of vitiligo seems to me to be very different from the general, I think it is necessary first that you have vitiligo, after this acceptance you choose what you want to do,” João continued. “I still quote Benjamin Disraeli: ‘Life is too short to be small.’”