Who is VITFRIENDS:
A proud SILVER STAR member. (https://www.guidestar.org/)
We are a diverse group of individuals united by a common skin condition. We were created to be a resource and a social network for individual with the condition known as vitiligo. We support the whole person....mind, body and spirit.
VITFriends is a patient advocacy group that encourages, educates and empowers our Vitiligo Friends to know all there is to know about their disease; to advocate for themselves; to be comfortable in their own skin and to LIVE their best life NOW! Our ultimate desire is to see changes for our community in the areas of: (1)Vitiligo Legislation (2) Correct Insurance labeling (3) Funding for Support Group Programs and (4) Funding for Research.
VITFriends a registered non-profit charitable 501c(3) Massachusetts based organization. We have grown over the years, to include a worldwide following, a total of 12 VITFriends affiliates and other partner groups in several USA states and also our partnership with VITAMIGOS, Cuba; VITSAF of Ghana, Africa; Vitiligo Research Foundation and Global Vitiligo Foundation.
Since Vitiligo's greatest affect is the QUALITY of LIFE for the patients, our aim is to offer encouragement and make connections with others who can understand what another Vitiligo person goes through.
VITFriends mission is to raise public awareness and offer education about vitiligo. It is to support and encourage our members, as we aim to enhance the Quality of Life of those affected by vitiligo through our annual conference, networking and sharing of information.
Our VISION is to inspire Hope, as we bring people with vitiligo together. It is to UNITE for the purpose of supporting, encouraging and building each other, as we provide a listening ear and a sounding board for each other. It is to one day see Vitiligo Legislation and Financial support that will enable us to strengthen and support our National Vitiligo Community.
Statement of VALUES:
VITFriends is committed to being a support group that is inclusive of all people and respectful of all people at all stages of their Vitiligo journey.
We are a group that values diversity and is committed to equality, UNITY and partnership with other Vitiligo Support Groups.
In 2004 an idea was birth.
In 2005 Valarie join VSI and logged in as VitFriend and there she met Patricia of NY; Millicent of CT and Perry or TX.
In 2006 was the first physical meeting with Patricia and Valarie both passionate about their vitiligo and supported by their spouses.
In 2007 the four traveled to Williamsburg, VA to attend the VSI conference and seek permission to become an affiliate of VSI but was denied.
In 2009 VITFriends was officially launched in Boston, MA with a conference each year following.
In 2014 we became a registered 501c3 non-profit MA organization and we held our 5th annual conference in NYC.
In 2015 organized our first Vitiligo RALLY on the MA State House Steps with Dr. John Harris and Yan Valle of VRF participating and the assistance of Mary-dith Tuitt, then legislative aide to Rep. Gloria Fox.
In 2016 we organized the Inaugural Vitiligo WVD RALLY on the Capitol Steps, Washington, DC, and it saw global participation and attendance.
In 2018 hosted the National Vitiligo Conference (WVD) with 311 attending at University of Massachusetts/Worcester, MA
In 2019 we partnered with Houston Vitiligo Awareness Movement (HVAM) to see a successful Vitiligo Conference with several hundreds attending. We launched the first Book Library drive getting 45 Vitiligo Story books into elementary schools across the USA before COVID-19 haulted our efforts. This effort was supported by Yan Valle of Vitiligo Research Foundation.
In 2019-2020 we worked hard to see changes to the NIH website about Vitiligo. We also worked with TUFTS Health Plan and Dr Paul Kasuba, senior vice president and chief medical officer to see insurance coverage for Vitiligo. Sadly, due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, our 2020 Vitiligo Conference to Minnesota, with our Marketing Direct/MN Group Leader Alicia Roufs, had to be cancelled.
In 2021 we worked on rebranding our organization. We launched our TEEN Vitiligo group. We expanded our PODCAST from 30 minutes to one hour and added NC co-leader Mark Braxton as co-host of his own show.
Our NON Discrimination Policy:
VITFriends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. VITFriends is a group that is open to anyone with Vitiligo.
Therefore, we want to make it known that we are committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination because of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or age.
VITFriends does not exclude people or treat them differently because of any of the above. If you feel in anyway that you have been discriminated by our group, please do not hesitate to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org ... or ... 844-374-3639
VITILIGIANS......we are a Royal People!
Our COLOR is Purple.
The color purple os often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power and ambition.
Purple also represents meaning of wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence and magic.