Brazilian Grandfather João Stanganelli uses the art of crochet to raise the joy and self-esteem of children with vitiligo.
Grandfather with vitiligo crochets dolls for kids with the same condition
Vitiligo is a skin condition that affects between 1-3% of the population worldwide (with almost 3 million Brazilians affected) and consists of the loss of skin pigment in certain body areas. Although there are numerous treatments to counter the condition, the most difficult aspect to cope with can often be other people’s attitude and prejudice toward those who live with it. This is why João Stanganelli, a grandfather himself, decided to use the art of crochet to raise the joy and lift the self-esteem of children with vitiligo.
João originally decided to knit a doll with vitiligo so his granddaughter would remember him
Brazilian grandpa João Stanganelli, now 64, began to show signs of vitiligo at 38. He had a career in the gastronomy industry until a heart condition radically changed his life last year. – reports BrightSide
However, João didn’t allow this setback to put limits on his life. He decided to develop a hobby to keep his mind healthy, active, and happy. And so, along with his wife Marilena, the pair decided to learn to crochet.
While he admits that it wasn’t an easy task, and had even considered giving up, he decided to persevere and, after 5 days, he had already crocheted his first doll.
This isn’t an activity that would suit everyone since it can cause calluses on the fingers, cautions João, and that irritates some people. However, once you get used to it, you don’t want to stop.
He says that his original idea was to make dolls for his granddaughter, and wanted to do something unique so that she would always remember him, so he decided to crochet a doll with vitiligo, and so, Vitilinda, a pretty doll with spots and uneven skin, was born.
“The spots I have are beautiful. What hurts me are the flaws in people’s characters.”
After the initial success of Vitilinda, João decided to do more inclusive crochet works. Dolls in a wheelchair soon followed, and everyone fell in love with them, which João says makes his work all the more rewarding.
The most important goal for João is to improve the self-esteem of children who live with this skin condition and lift their spirits. João says that knowing someone owns and values his pieces of art inspires and motivates him to develop his skills every day.
During his interviews, he always shares the following message: “The spots I have are beautiful. What hurts me are the flaws in people’s characters.”
Inspired by the positive responses he received for his dolls, João started both Facebook and Instagram accounts to display his latest works.
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