Who is VITFRIENDS:
VITFriends is a diverse group of individuals united by a common skin condition. VITFriends was created to be a resource and a social network for individual with the condition known as vitiligo. VITFriends supports the whole person....mind, body and spirit.
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 15 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.
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.
Like the guidance of the North Star, is to raise public awareness and offer education about vitiligo. To support and encourage our members and to enhance the Quality of Life of those with vitiligo through our annual conference, networking and sharing of information.
Is to inspire Hope, as we bring the Vitiligo Community together. 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. 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.
Time-line - GOALS:
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 this team 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 with 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 as we celebrate WORLD Vitiligo DAY June 25. We adopted Purple as our COLOR!
In 2017 we collaborated with VSTRONG & Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI and our President was also a Guest Speaker
In 2018 we co-hosted the National Vitiligo Conference (WVD) with 311 attending at University of Massachusetts/Worcester, MA. We also connected LIVE on screen with Vitiligo Groups in China, Africa, Australia and France....
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 Vitiligo Story books into elementary schools across the USA before COVID-19 haulted our efforts. Our first partner in this effort was 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 - Belong. Empower. LIVE... We launched our TEEN Vitiligo group and offer Community Service Hours to our teenager. We expanded our PODCAST from 30 minutes to ONE hour, sponsored by MyVitiligoTeam and added NC co-leader Mark Braxton as co-host/Engineer. Podcast can now be heard on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcast, and Spotify. Added THREE new Affiliate Groups and launched Vitiligo on CLUBHOUSE...
In 2022 we hope to host our WVD Conference in Bloomington, MN with Our VITFriends Marketing Director/Group Leader Alicia Roufs and Assistant Tiffany Onischuk. We will resume our reading in Elementary Schools (as permitted)... Reading ONLINE...Shipping out BOOKS based on our supply...Strenghten our Children Division.
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: email@example.com ... 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.