World Vitiligo Day 2014 Kicks Off in Chandigarh

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World Vitiligo Day 2014 promises to be the biggest yet, with a vast array of awareness and support events spanning the globe. Sponsored by the New York based Vitiligo Research Foundation, this years festivities will be based in Chandigarh, India.

World Vitiligo Day day was Inaugurated in 2011 as a grassroots advocacy project to bring the plight of the approximately 100 million sufferers worldwide into the spotlight. As perhaps the world most famous vitiligan, the name of Michael Jackson has always been synonymous with vitiligo and the anniversary of his tragic and untimely death was chosen as World Vitiligo Day in honor of his own personal yet very public battle with the disease.

2014 is proving to be an incredible year of growth for the movement, which started as a few volunteers handing out fliers in the streets and a small number of dedicated doctors offering free skin checks and advice on dealing with the condition. Now hundreds of thousands are getting behind the cause and a number of celebrities like Jon Hamm, Scott Jorgenson, Holly Marie Combs and Yvette Fielding have been more vocal about their own experiences in living with vitiligo.

In 2014 World Vitiligo Day is coming of age as a truly global event with events on all continents and an international feature by CNN. Chandigarh will host TV shows, theater events, lectures, free consultations with dermatologists, and a forty rickshaw parade through the city. Right across the United States support groups will be holding support and awareness walks, lectures and social events, and in Detroit, Lee Thomas will be hosting a lunch fundraiser with last years World Vitiligo Day hosts, the Southeast Michigan Vitiligo Support Group.

Moscow will play host to teams of volunteers handing out flyers and smiles and specialists at the vitiligo clinic at the Moscow Beauty Clinic collaboration with the city prefecture Arbat, will be giving free vitiligo check-ups. All over Africa Vitiligo Support groups will be taking to the streets to spread awareness, culminating in a Vitiligo Fashion show in Nigeria hosted by VITSAF (the Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation).

Between one and two percent of the World's population are faced with the day to day stigma of living with vitiligo, often in societies where it is looked upon as being contagious, the result of witchcraft or leprosy. With public demonstrations, walkathons, and handouts, support groups from the U.K., Kazakhstan, Georgia, China, Hungary, Serbia, Australia, India and many more are hoping to change this and make life better for millions.

A petition to the United Nations calling for action and asking that June 25th be officially observed as World Vitiligo Day is only a few signatures away from its half a million target and, with the recent success of stunning model and vitiligan Winnie Harlow, more and more people are taking up the call for awareness and support.

This June 25, the VR Foundation, the World Vitiligo Day initiative and support groups in over 50 countries are calling for awareness, calling for togetherness and taking charge of making a social change for the better.

About the Vitiligo Research Foundation:

The VR Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit, disease-specific foundation. As the nation's only organization addressing every phase of vitiligo treatment development, the VRF continuously works with a diverse group of support organizations and individuals to achieve significant measurable and fast results. When it comes to finding a cure for vitiligo, the VRF firmly expects to make a real difference in our lifetime.

Yan Valle
CEO, Vitiligo Research Foundation
1, Penn Plaza #6205, New York, NY

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Yan Valle
Vitiligo Research Foundation
+36 703680730
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