Go through her Instagram page and you will see a woman who is so full of life.
Honya Enam Heikeens, a Ghanaian nurse, suffers from vitiligo-a pigmentation disorder in which the cells that make pigment in the skin are destroyed. As a result, white patches appear on the skin in different parts of the body.
This can affect both young and old, both men and women, and even though it is not contagious, it can happen to anyone at anytime. Although there are various ways to manage vitiligo, there is no really no cure.
She was between 7 and 12 years old when it started. It came as a spot on her left hand and started to spread as she grew. Initially, her family thought it was a birthmark but they were wrong.
Honya’s parents visited hospitals in and outside their country but there was no diagnosis for what was happening to her skin.
So, because she looked different from the other kids, she was stigmatized as nobody understood why she looked that way.
“During my basic and senior high, I was highly stigmatized. I was called a witch and students don’t want to be friends with me. They don’t even want to sit beside me or shake hands. I, then decided to accept who I am,” she told woman.ng
It was while she got to senior high school that she got an explanation and support from a fellow sufferer.
“I met with Love Violet, who was also having vitiligo. She introduced me to Ogo Maduewesi, the Founder of vitiligo in Africa and CEO of VITSAF in Nigeria. I embraced my skin through the above mentioned. I started to research and learn more about my skin,” she told woman.ng
Growing up, Honya wanted to be a TV presenter but her skin made her switch to Nursing. She now practices as a professional nurse at a Ghanaian hospital while running an initiative, Vitiligo Ghana Foundation, advocating and providing support for people suffering from vitiligo.
“My advice to individuals living with Vitiligo is that, you are beautiful in your own skin and who you are, makes a difference. Accept and embrace yourselves.”
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Just a quick reminder. WORLD VITILIGO DAY JUNE 25TH 2016.💜. WHAT IS VITILIGO? WHO GETS VITILIGO? HOW CAN I TREAT VITILIGO? WHAT CAUSES VITILIGO? these are some questions that run through individual minds, who doesn't have any idea as to what the skin condition is. Help support this year's project VITILIGO AWARENESS AND EDUCATION and save a live today. Support us to save MILLIONS of people in Africa /Ghana from Social Isolation and Persecution. You can reach the VITSAF Vitiligo Support Group Ghana team via email @Vitgogh@gmail.com. Let your support and donations save a live today. Remember June 25th WORLD VITILIGO DAY 💞 LET'S ALL SUPPORT AND IMPACT ON PEOPLE'S LIVES. # VITILIGOEDUCATION #VITILIGOBEAUTY #VITILIGONATION #VITILIGOBEAUTY #WORLD ❄ ⭐ ❇ ➰ 💞 💮 🔛 🔝 💯 Neck piece by @Afiyocreationsgh Photo credit by @oabphotography make up by @l'amisi makeup artistry