When 26-year-old Lee Thomas was diagnosed with vitiligo (an abnormality of the pigmentation of the skin), I took it as the end of his tv career. However, a disease that, apparently, should have destroyed his life, gave him a professional success, and the gratitude of viewers throughout the world.
To us, Great.guru, we got inspired by the history of this american journalist and we hope to serve as a support to all the people who suffer for not look like the others.
Until the age of 25, Lee Thomas even suspected that I had an autoimmune disease. He was a reporter, successful television in one of the local channels from New York. But once, a hairdresser pointed out a white stain on the back of your head the size of a coin of 25 cents. It was so unexpected that Lee even thought that he had torn the skin.
I was really scared, but his mother reassured him, thinking they were symptoms caused by stress. The man took a year to prepare to go to the doctor. By then, the white spots had appeared on his hands and face. The dermatologist diagnosed him with vitiligo. This sounded like a verdict: to Lee Thomas meant that he could no longer exercise the profession of a tv presenter: who would allow a guy with white spots on the face were in the air?
For a long time, the journalist hid his illness in order not to lose your work. Before you leave your house, apply a lot of makeup, which masked the blemishes on your skin. The family was always a support for Lee, and that was giving him strength to continue.
The career Lee Thomas progressed: they offered him a job in the channel WJBK Fox 2 News in Detroit, but he was still keeping secret the fact that he had vitiligo. When the white patches spread to 35% of the body, it became impossible to hide it. The foundation is not allowed to wash their hands during the day, and the journalist decided that it would be better to tell the management about his illness, so that their colleagues will not consider it dirty.
Contrary to expectations, the heads of television not only not asked for the resignation, but offered to tell his story to the air. Lee Thomas took a pause: the idea seemed strange. But then they started getting orders similar of viewers who called the channel. A teenager asked: “can You tell your story on television?”, to which he replied: “why?” — “Well, maybe the people I would try another way.”
Lee Thomas was deeply impressed with this idea. The dialogue with the child helped you realize that there are people around him that really needed his help. And decided to take a bold step. In the air, the journalist took off the makeup and showed them all how it really looks on your skin. The reaction of the audience was incredible. People from all over the world expressed their support and gratitude.
Now, Lee Thomas is 50 years old and a successful career. He was 4-times winner of the Emmy Award as best presenter and producer. He wrote a book, “Turning White” (“Becoming a target”), on his battle against the disease, and became the official representative of the National Foundation of Vitiligo in Columbus, Ohio. Continues to applying their outputs to the air, so as not to distract the attention of the viewers of the content of the program, but in everyday life do not use cosmetic decorative. “What I thought would be a dead end for me, turned out to be the greatest blessing in my life,” he wrote on his web site.
Vitiligo is a disease not studied in depth. It does not represent a danger to the life, but causes people to be unhappy and feel insecure. Studies say that 1% of the world’s population is affected, which is estimated to be about 70 million people. One of the victims of vitiligo was Michael Jackson, who told in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. Thanks to brave souls like him and Lee Thomas, the people become a little more friendly with those who differ from the majority.
What do you think might help people who do not fit into the generally accepted standards?
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