Grandfather with vitiligo knits dolls for kids who have the same condition

Grandfather with vitiligo knits dolls for kids who have the same condition

A grandfather with vitiligo has been praised for his wonderfully crafted dolls, which are crocheted to appear as though they have the same skin condition. João Stanganelli, 64, first developed the genetic condition in his thirties.

While it does not adversely affect his physical health, experiencing chronic skin discolouration can impact your self-image and self-esteem, which is why a number of people have commended the Brazilian native for knitting dolls with unconventional features.

From one skin condition to another: this young woman has embraced the sizeable birthmark on her face:

Stanganelli, who hails from Bragança Paulista, first started crocheting as a way to keep busy, having recently become "semi-retired from the gastronomy industry due to unrelated health issues," according to Bored Panda.

Since then, both he and his wife took up the creative pastime, which he found difficult at first, but soon, after some practice, got the hang of it.

"At first my fingers and back hurt a lot, today no more," Stanganelli told Bored Panda. I’m not yet retired, I still keep up my old work with food, but much less intensely. At the moment I spend 90% of my time with the dolls. I have many orders."

The very first thing Stanganelli crocheted was a doll - complete with vitiligo patches - for his granddaughter, for her to always remember him by.

When Stanganelli began sharing photos of his works, friends and acquaintances started asking for their own personalised versions.

For instance, some asked for dolls with hearing aids and dolls in wheelchairs - essentially, dolls for kids with health conditions which would usually leave them underrepresented in society.

Stanganelli told CTVNews.ca that he is "amazed by people asking for dolls" and feels "gratitude for the varied responses of adults and children."

"The spots I have are beautiful," he added. "What hurts me are the flaws in peoples’ characters."