A Grandfather With Vitiligo Knits Dolls to Restore the Self-Esteem of Children Who Suffer From This Disease
Vitiligo is a disease that affects almost 3 million Brazilians and consists of the loss of skin color in certain body areas. 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.
How it all started
João Stanganelli, now 64, 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.
However, João didn’t allow this obstacle to put limits on his life. 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 confessed that it wasn’t an easy task, and even considered giving up, but decided to persevere. After 5 days, he had already crocheted his first doll.
Can anyone crochet?
Definitely not. This isn't an activity that would suit everyone since it can cause calluses on the fingers, as João explained, and that irritates some people. However, once you get used to it, you don't want to stop.
He said that his original idea was to make dolls for his granddaughter, and wanted to do something pretty 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.
Helping your neighbor is a way of giving love.
After the success of Vitilinda, João 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 João is to improve the self-esteem of the little ones who live with this skin condition and to cheer them up. Knowing that someone owns and values his pieces of art, inspires and motivates him to develop his skills every day.
During his interviews, he always shares the following message: “The spots I have are beautiful. What hurts me are the flaws in people’s characters.”
Access to information is one of many ways to understand and start practicing inclusion. Do you know any other ways to do it? What do you think of João’s work? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion with us in the comment section!