If you are an internet savvy vitiligo fighter, you must know what Litty Ligo is. It provides peer support, education, and empowerment via social media, user content, events, products, and merchandise. 15% of its profits go to charitable organizations and causes. Sharon King is the founder of this unique initiative.
Sharon is an adventurous, smart, attractive, down to earth woman who doesn’t let vitiligo define her. Currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts, she wears many hats. Apart from heading Litty Ligo LLC, she is a disability rights advocate and services coordinator, a board certified high school Sports official and a private chef.
Sharon had her first encounter with vitiligo in 1999. She was just 12 years old when she noticed a small white patch under her left eye. Sharon recalls her response to being bullied in childhood “At first, I cried a lot. I wondered what I did that made kids dislike me. My family and friends explained that people bully because they don’t feel good about themselves or they are being bullied themselves. So, from a young age, I took an understanding approach.”
Sharon says her friends were her defenders during those first few years with vitiligo. “I never got into fights about my skin because my friends would never let that happen. Looking back, I realize that there was nothing I could have done differently. I’m a very friendly person, and I’m ALWAYS smiling. Luckily, my good vibes attracted like minded people who are still my good friends today.” she pours her heart out.
Sharon couldn’t accept her vitiligo completely up until her 30th birthday. But, all these years what remained common was the fact that she never covered it. “I never really cover it because I don’t look like myself. I covered it in high school for a banquet once, but it was so much work. My mom asked me when I was diagnosed if I wanted to pursue treatment. When the creams didn’t work, I turned all treatments down because it was such a time-consuming process,” Sharon shares her experience with skin camouflage for vitiligo and treatments.
Sharon loves anything written by Maya Angelou. She wants fellow vitiligo fighters to LIVE and not suffer: “I don’t love my vitiligo, but I don’t hate it either. At the end of the day, vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder which means it’s not good for our bodies. But, I don’t believe in letting vitiligo stop you from pursuing your dreams. Treatments and creams can be time-consuming and daunting. So, people like me would rather spend that time living their best lives.”
While Sharon feels that vitiligo is underrepresented in popular culture, she is quite happy with the progress made in recent years: “Winnie Harlow‘s appearance on America’s Next Top Model definitely jump-started the conversation and encouraged people not to hide anymore! In the past year, so much progress has been made because information is available that wasn’t there years ago when I was diagnosed, and I think because of that people are more willing to talk about it. I think that’s awesome.”
Sharon feels the best thing about having vitiligo is that you are not alone. You have gained a second family that loves you and will support you in your darkest times. “I feel so loved, and I am grateful for all my family and friends, but nothing compares to having people in your life who know exactly what you’re going through. Find support that suits you, and I promise you’re gonna make it too.
This fall, Sharon King will be hosting the first-ever Litty Ligo event. Team Unite For Vitiligo wishes her all the best!