World Vitiligo Day in Detroit and Around the World

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June the 25th sees the fifth World Vitiligo Day celebrated around the world, spreading education and awareness of vitiligo and offering support and hope to those suffering from the disease. This year Detroit was the focus of World Vitiligo Day activities and, supported by the Vitiligo Research Foundation, The Henry Ford Hospital is hosting a Vitiligo roundtable discussion and press event to bring together groups from all over the USA, sharing support, the latest research and promoting the World Vitiligo Day United Nations petition to make June 25 official.

The Vitiligo Research Foundation (VRF) is partnering with Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and other vitiligo support organizations to raise awareness about the skin disease vitiligo on World Vitiligo Day Tuesday, June 25.

June 25 was chosen as a memorial to the late entertainer Michael Jackson, who suffered from vitiligo and died on that day in 2009. The VRF and our partners will honor vitiligans all over the world by spreading knowledge about the condition and encouraging compassion and support for those affected by it.

Vitiligo is an autoimmune-based skin pigmentation disorder which results in white patches of skin. It affects an estimated 100 million people worldwide and has no cure. Although it is not contagious, the skin disease frequently develops during individuals’ formative years and the social stigma can cause anxiety and self-consciousness.

Henry Ford Hospital, led by board-certified dermatologists Henry Lim, M.D., and Iltefat Hamzavi, M.D., has been at the forefront of research into advancing treatments for patients. Henry Ford also is involved with the Southeast Michigan Vilitigo Support Group (

To help raise awareness Henry Ford is hosting a roundtable discussion with vitiligo support groups and patients that will be moderated by FOX2 News reporter Lee Thomas on World Vitiligo Day. It also is collecting signatures as part of a worldwide petition drive organized by the VRF to urge the United Nations to designate June 25 as World Vitiligo Day at an international level. Currently more than 100,000 people have signed the petition online at Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing have issued proclamations in support of World Vitiligo Day on June 25.

Other participating groups include The National Vitiligo Foundation (NVFI), Vitiligo Bond, Vitiligo Support International (VSI), VITSAF and Vitiligo Friends. The VRF is a non-profit foundation that was founded by Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist Dmitry Aksenov, whose daughter has vitiligo. VRF CEO Yan Valle also has vitiligo. The VRF is dedicated to expediting vitiligo research and patient support, supporting researchers around the world and sponsoring the petition campaign.

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Yan Valle
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