'I Had To Embrace It'. Woman Who Suddenly Developed Vitiligo Before Her Wedding Shared Her Experience
A bride-to-be was freaking out when, a few weeks before her wedding, she developed a skin condition known as vitiligo. The experience was such a significant one that she felt the need to share her story.
Kandice Benford recently opened up and talked about how she learned to come to terms with her condition - one that causes patches of skin to lose their pigment.
The 32-year-old hairstylist said the only other indication that anything could be wrong was the white spots she often had on her hands when she was in college. Even though she suspected the condition might worsen at some point, she never really gave it much thought.
However, weeks before her wedding, which was scheduled to take place on November 5th, 2016, Kandice was shocked to see that the white patches were beginning to spread all over her body.
Due to the fact that her fiance, Elliot, was ill at the time, Kandice suspected that the stress of that plus all the hassles that came with planning a wedding must have exacerbated the condition.
"It was like it happened overnight," she said. It was such a sudden occurrence that the first thing she thought of was to find a way to cover the patches of skin with makeup.
The white spots spread over my face, hands, and legs, and I found it very difficult. I tried to cover it up with makeup.
Things were even more difficult for those around her who were simply unsure of what it was. There were some who even asked if she suffered a burn. Through it all, however, she was able to count on the support of her family, friends, and her now husband. Their encouragement gave her the confidence to accept who she was and what was happening to her body.
I was freaking out, but everybody has been very supportive. My husband said, ‘You’re beautiful with or without it.'
This inspired her to come to terms with her condition. "I had to embrace it. My body is my body," she added.
Initially, her plan was to hide the blotches on her face for her big day, but thanks to her newfound confidence and sense of acceptance, she had the courage to walk down the aisle barefaced.
Looking back at her experience on her first wedding anniversary, she was very glad she chose not to let negative beliefs hold her back from truly enjoying her special day.
I ended up feeling great on my wedding day. I can honestly say having vitiligo has made me more confident in myself.
She used the opportunity to encourage people who may be going through this or something similar to embrace themselves and realize that "you are stronger than you think.”
According to American Vitiligo Research Foundation, the skin condition could start at any age, however, early symptoms often appear between the ages of 20 and 30. The white patches which symptomize the condition would often begin to show on the neck, armpits, hands, or knees.
Most people who have this disorder are usually otherwise healthy and even have normal skin texture. However, people with such autoimmune diseases as Addison's disease, vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia (pernicious anemia), or thyroid disorders are more likely to develop the condition.
The major downside of vitiligo onset is the feeling of self-consciousness, as exemplified by Kandice's story, but at the end of the day, the key is self-love and acceptance. Thanks to the support of her loved ones, Kandice have been able to get to come to terms with the changes and hopefully, more people will be inspired by her story.