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Jackson woman brings awareness to World Vitiligo Day

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JACKSON, Miss.(WJTV) – A Jackson woman is bringing awareness to World Vitiligo Day, which is celebrated across the nation.

The disease, which destroys the pigment cells of the skin, was put into the spotlight by the late Pop star Michael Jackson, who suffered from it.

LaTonia Tillman, a phlebotomist at the University Mississippi Medical Center, talked with WJTV 12’s Lanaya Lewis about battling the skin disease at an early age.

“I had accumulated these white patches that started out on my wrists and went through several tests and several visits, and that’s what it came to the conclusion is, I have vitiligo.”

After the age of 18 Tillman notice vitiligo take over her body.

Her brown, melanin skinned now had white blotches on her arms, legs and face. She says it was hard at first to accept the skin she was in, but now she’s learned to accept the flaw and walk around with confidence.

“I still get the stares. Some people know what it is, some people don’t know what it is, but I’m here to let you know it’s not contagious. If you touch me, you would not get it.”

For those one’s going adjusting to vitiligo, Tillman urges you to find a support system.

“Get around other people that has vitiligo. Be around your family and friends and people that support you the most.”

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