About

MORE THAN OUR SKIN

MORE THAN OUR SKIN  is a film designed to

incorporate four key elements in the telling of this

important story.

 

The Stories

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

Vitiligo:

  • 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Advocacy

 

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?

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The Research

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 

not others.

 

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., a Detroit area dermatologist - was named a division head for his 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.

Conclusion

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.