June 25th marks World Vitiligo day to bring awareness about a condition resulting in milky white patches on the skin. For one Louisiana native, the condition changed his life.
“I didn’t see me. I didn’t see that person that I’ve known for all these years growing up. My skin condition is called vitiligo. The vitiligo was brought on by another condition that I have.” said Kirt Thibodeaux.
When he was diagnosed almost 2 years ago, Kirt Thibodeaux didn’t know where to turn.
“To be honest, when it first started happening I thought I had leprosy. But when my hair started falling out and my skin started shedding, to be honest I thought I was gonna die.” said Thibodeaux.
After numerous doctors visits and test, vitiligo was the cause of the milky white pigmentation on his skin.
“I was taking an acne medicine called minocycline and it caused a severe allergic reaction.” said Thibodeaux, “It attached to my skin and the color in my skin and just began to kind of rip it off, just kind of isolate it.” said Thibodeaux.
For a year after he felt his identity slip away, Kirt hid from society.
“At some point I was like you’re either gonna be the person to sink into a hole or you’re gonna power through this and try to help somebody else.” siad Thibodeaux, “I was in a deep dark place. I couldn’t see myself at one point.”
Now, Kirt is slowly finding his identity and hopes to empower others to embrace the skin they’re in.
“The biggest thing that a lot of people need is is just that extra love support.” said Thibodeaux, “But now that I know what I have and who I am, I can see myself again as I tell people. I’ll continue to advocate for anyone who feels like they don’t have a voice.”