Vitiligo is a skin condition in which patches of skin lose their pigment, becoming white with sharp margins. While the disease is not fatal and contagious, people having it can go through mental stress and social stigma associated with it.
However, a 64-year-old Brazilian- João Stanganelli Junior has embraced this skin condition and started crocheting dolls with different body types, skin disorders and visual impairments. He has started sewing these dolls to improve the “self-esteem” of the little ones who live with this skin condition and to cheer them up.
How Did The Idea Come Up?
João Stanganelli Junior after taking retirement due to unrelated health issues wanted to gift his granddaughter something to remember him by. After a suggestion from his wife, he started crocheting “as a challenge”. He took only five days to learn to sew a doll and gifted it to his granddaughter.
What began with frustration has now become his all-time favourite activity.
But after photos of the doll went viral over social media, several people approached him to make personalized dolls.
Some began asking for dolls in wheelchairs, while others asked for dolls with hearing aids. Overwhelmed by the response, he took to various social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to showcase his work.
He told CTVnews in an interview that he’s been “amazed by people asking for dolls”. In the interview, he said vitiligo hasn’t caused him “any inconvenience” personally as he was diagnosed with it at 38, however, he knows others are not that lucky – particularly children.
He said, “ The spots I have are beautiful. What hurts me are the flaws in people’s characters.”