When it comes to success, age really is just a number. Ava Bright at the age of 12 can be called as successful as a 32 years old inclusivity activist. You may ask, how?
As a model, Ava has worked with Matilda Jane Clothing, Walmart, Elizabeth Noel, and Lemonade Kids Magazine. Her story of becoming a model is published in a lesson plan that is used by teachers in North America to teach kids about differences and specifically vitiligo. Last November, she was named Canada’s one of the most extraordinary children by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company). No wonder if her success story has been featured in multiple newspapers across Canada.
Ava was 4 years old when her mom spotted a small white spot on her back. The 7th-grade student recalls, “I was prescribed a steroid cream when I was 4, my parents didn’t feel it was safe to use on me, so they just left it. I have never had any treatment since then. I wouldn’t use any treatment now.”
Kids with vitiligo are often subjected to bullying. Ava too had her share of challenges with bullying at school. “I experienced lots of bullying. I would come home and cry every day. My mom went to my school and worked it out with the principal. The most difficult time was when my vitiligo spread was getting very aggressive at the age of 7,” the London native pours her heart out.
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Happiest of Heavenly Birthdays to @white_eyed_rowdy, the pup who changed my life 💜 You helped me to love my skin and embrace my vitiligo, I'm honoured to have been part of the "Road to Rowdy" campaign and I know you'd be proud of me today Rowdy. Love you ❤️ #vitiligo #lovetheskinyourein #itscalledvitiligo #roadtorowdy #whiteeyedrowdy #keepportlandrowdy #dogsandkids #vitiligomodel #childmodel #happybirthday #missyou #whyfitinwhenyouwereborntostandout #changingthefaceofbeauty #dogsofinstagram #nocuredontcare#vitiligoawareness #labsofinstagram #blacklab
Ava says she became pretty confident at age 10 when she met the famous Rowdy, a dog with vitiligo. She was subsequently featured with Rowdy on Inside Edition and Sports Net ESPN. “White-Eyed Rowdy helped me see that it’s ok to be different even though we (vitiligo fighters) are underrepresented in books and movies. I’ve never seen a person with real vitiligo in a movie,” the little vitiligo crusader comments.
Vitiligo is one skin disorder that is surrounded by many myths and misconceptions. Ava often meets people who perceive her vitiligo to be contagious. Some think that she hasn’t put on sunscreen properly. She even encountered a person who thought her vitiligo to be leprosy. But, that doesn’t discourage Ava from loving who she is today and how she looks in the mirror: “I love my vitiligo now. I wouldn’t change it for anything today. I feel that everything happens for a reason and that all these opportunities wouldn’t exist if I didn’t have vitiligo.”
Ava loves meeting new kids with vitiligo and sharing her story in hopes that they can gain their own confidence. Team Unite For Vitiligo wishes her the same success in the future. We also congratulate her to become the youngest Vitiligo Crusader, featured in the series.