MORE THAN OUR SKIN
MORE THAN OUR SKIN is a film designed to
incorporate four key elements in the telling of this
The film, More Than Our Skin will be a
documentary exploring in depth the effects of
living with Vitiligo through the stories of those
who live with it.
Through the personal and often painful stories
of the five women featured in the film, More
Than Our Skin will provide a deeper
understanding of what it means to live with
Stories of falling into deep depression
Stories of contemplating suicide
Stories of isolation and addiction
Stories of death
We want the individuals telling their stories to change the narrative of what people think of Vitiligo. We want to eliminate the stigmas by allowing the viewing audience to meet the people who will share their stories of pain and promise along with their communities who have provided support, love, and purpose to these courageous group of women.
We are traveling to the homes and communities of each woman portrayed in this film – conducting interviews with spouses, children, members in their community, parents, and friends – along with the women themselves. Often, these interviews are personal and painful – but part of their story to let the viewing audience know how living with Vitiligo affects them individually.
To read more about our creative partners and voices of our film, click here!
This film intends to answer the very simple question, where do we go from here? To answer this question, we need to start with where we’ve been. In 1975, the National Vitiligo Control Act was introduced. The findings declared that Vitiligo is a disfiguring, inheritable disease which cripples the personality of individuals suffering from it and which afflicts about three percent of the U.S. population. The bill authorized the following funds to be appropriated for such purpose of research and treatment of $2,000,000 for fiscal year 1975, $3,000,000 for fiscal year 1976, and $4,000,000 for fiscal year 1977.
Fast forward 40 years, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), introduced H.Res. 213 to designate Oct. 17th as “National Vitiligo Awareness Day.” This bipartisan bill honors the courageous children and adults who while living with this condition, often overcome many different forms of harassment and their own personal issues to fight on and contribute to our society.
But we need more. We need more advocacy, more demonstrations, more science, and more resources to bring a cure to a disease that is often misunderstood and mischaracterized as something “cosmetic”: involving or relating to treatment intended to restore or improve a person's appearance. This film will help push the advocacy to the forefront and ask the tough question, why hasn't more been done?
Another powerful addition to this film is the information of the
advocacy, research, and cures for Vitiligo patients. With the help of
VITFriends, More Than Our Skin will explore the opportunity to affect
changes in VitiligoLegislation; Insurance Compliance; Support
Programs and a b intentional study on the research and cures.
This film will unpack the medical mysteries of this disease and talk to
experts trying to determine how and why this affects individuals and
Dr. John E. Harris, MD, PhD
Dr. John E. Harris directs the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at
UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, which
incorporates a specialty clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of
patients with Vitiligo, as well as a Vitiligo research laboratory. He
uses basic, translational, and clinical research approaches to better
understand autoimmunity in Vitiligo, with a particular focus on
developing more effective treatments.
Dr. Richard H. Huggins, M.D.
Dr. Richard H. Huggins, M.D. joined the dermatology staff at Henry Ford Hospital in 2012 and was named a division head of the Department of Dermatology in 2018. Dr. Huggins’ clinical and research interests include Vitiligo, hidradenitis suppurativa, and skin of color. A fellow of the
American Academy of Dermatology, Dr.Huggins also serves on the board of directors of the Global Vitiligo Foundation and is on the executive
board of the V-Strong Vitiligo support community based in Detroit, Michigan.
Dr. David Rosmarin, M.D.
Dr. David Rosmarin is a dermatologist in Boston, Massachusetts and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Brigham and Women's Hospital and Tufts Medical Center. He received his medical degree from NYU School of Medicine and has been in practice between 11-20 years.
Recently, Dr. Rosmarin conducted a nationwide phase II clinical trial, coordinated out of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, has found that a topical cream was extremely effective in reversing the effects of vitiligo, a relatively common autoimmune disease that causes loss of skin pigmentation. Topical application of the medicated cream, ruxolitinib, which is currently used as an oral treatment for certain blood disorders, resulted in substantial improvement of facial vitiligo symptoms in nearly half of the trial's participants. Results of the clinical trial were presented by David Rosmarin, MD, Dermatologist at Tufts Medical Center and Primary Investigator for the study, on Saturday, June 15, at the World Congress of Dermatology in Milan, Italy.
What individuals want is very simple: for the world to understand that this condition is anything but cosmetic and what these medical experts are working towards is to give back a bit of one’s own self before the effects of Vitiligo took over. That Vitiligo is More Than Our Skin.