-Strong Vitiligo Support Group volunteered to host the U.S. 2017 World Vitiligo Day events. This Detroit based support group focuses on the mental and emotional support for people with vitiligo. V-Strong is setting an example followed by support groups around the world.
How did V-Strong get its start? Lee Thomas of Fox 2 News Detroit started it all... it began with a phone call from a young man suffering from vitiligo. Before the book "Turning White" and all of the attention, Lee was working on the air everyday with make-up on his face but not on his hands. It was on purpose, people with vitiligo know what's up and others would write in and ask. Lee would then answer them if their efforts were sincere. The truth is most people didn't even notice. One day a viewer called to ask me if Lee would speak to her son. He was suffering from vitiligo and she wanted Lee to talk to him and hopefully inspire confidence. Once Lee spoke to the young man he realized he was strong and headed in the right direction. As the conversation ended the young man said something that changed Lee's life. "Would you show your face without make up". Lee asked "why" and then he said,"If you show people what you look like then maybe they will treat me differently". The answer became easy!
From that conversation, Lee told his story on the newscast. The 3 minute news story eventually became the book, and along with Dr. Henry Lim of Henry Ford Hospital a support group (V-Strong) and a mission that we continue today. ClarityLTF, (a Lee Thomas foundation that powers V-Strong-A Detroit MI Vitiligo support community) is here for support, awareness, fundraising and collaboration.