Filed Under:

Inheriting A Rare Skin Condition, And The Ability To Laugh About It

Play associated audio

People with vitiligo gradually lose pigment in their skin, often in patches that appear randomly and grow over time.

But that wasn't the case for Cheri Lindsay. The white pigment on her skin spread rapidly across her body and around her eyes, "like a mask," over the past four years, she says.

She imagines that she's dealt with it better than most, in part because of the example set by her father.

"It was easy for me to deal with because of seeing you deal with it," she tells her dad, Phillip Lindsay, on a visit to StoryCorps in Denver. "I've never seen you without vitiligo, and so it's like, that's normal. That's my dad."

"I have five kids, and when I had to take you guys out and about, you guys wanted to protect me," Phillip says. "Anything anyone did or said, you guys were just like, 'Hey, that's Dad. Watch yourself.'

"And so I had to ease you guys' mind and let you understand that I was OK. I didn't need the protection," he adds.

Cheri says she has had some difficult times. "I get stared at like crazy," she says. "There was a point I would avoid kids in the store. If a kid was coming down the aisle, I'm like, 'I don't need no bread' " — and she would turn around.

"But I did something one time," she recalls. "I was at Wal-Mart, and I'm walking down the aisle and this little boy — he had to be about 5 or 6 — he was just staring at me. He looked so freaked out.

"But I stopped and I said, 'You wanna know why I look like this?' And he was like, 'Yeah.' And I said, 'Because I was staring at somebody in Wal-Mart,' " she says, laughing. "And I told his mom, I was like, 'I'm just kidding with him.' "

"Well, Cheri," Phillip says, "You know, you're a very beautiful woman and you keep your head up and you just ... walk on. And I couldn't be more proud of you for the way you handle yourself, really. My chest goes out for you."

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Jud Esty-Kendall.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Jack Davis, Cartoonist Who Helped Found 'Mad' Magazine, Dies

Money from a job illustrating a Coca-Cola training manual became a springboard for Jack Davis to move from Georgia to New York.
NPR

Cookie Dough Blues: How E. Coli Is Sneaking Into Our Forbidden Snack

Most people know not to eat raw cookie dough. But now it's serious: 46 people have now been sickened with E. coli-tainted flour. Here's how contamination might be occurring.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour – LIVE from Slim's Diner!

This special edition of the Politics Hour is coming to you live from Slim's Diner from Petworth in Northwest D.C.

NPR

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.