A mother has opened up about the devastating impact the viral memes of her newborn son had on her and her family, the Daily Mail reports.
Patricia Williams, a 43-year-old fashion designer from Utah, has four children, two of whom have albinism, a genetic condition where affected individuals do not inherit the usual skin pigmentation from their parents.
Their bodies do not produce the normal amount of melanin, a chemical which determines people's eye, skin and hair colour. Generally, this means that people with albinism tend to have pale skin, hair, and eyes.
When Williams' fourth and youngest child Rockwell came into the world in February 2018, photos of him as a newborn were shared online and made into memes which served to mock the infant for his appearance.
Patricia and Dale were understandably upset by the memes and initially asked each person who posted them to take them down. However, they soon realised it was out of their control, and decided to ignore it.People with albinism are still being hunted down and slaughtered for their body parts in parts of Tanzania:
Patricia's second son, Redd, now seven, was born in August 2012. Per MDWfeatures, the mother-of-four explained that in the first weeks after his birth, her son's pale skin tone didn't strike her as unusual as she and her husband had all been born with blonde hair.
The parents first started noticing symptoms of albinism in Redd when he was a few months old. It was then that his eyes were constantly tracking from side to side, which, after doing some research, the family learned was a symptom of albinism.
Patricia, and her husband Dale, 45, arranged an appointment with genetic specialists and an optometrist, and Redd was diagnosed with Oculocutaneous Albinism Type one (OCA1).
Patricia explained that Redd has also been on the receiving end of cruel comments about his fair appearance. Redd is legally blind, due to a condition called nystagmus, which is an involuntary movement of the eyes, and strabismus.
These days, the doting parents focus much of their time on raising awareness of albinism in order to educate people on the condition.