By Liana Jacob
THIS WOMAN’S VITILIGO turned her skin COMPLETELY WHITE but since going PLANT-BASED two years ago she claims her original colour is COMING BACK.
In 2001, when student, Jamila Davis (25) from Florida, USA, was just eight years old, she noticed a white patch on her eye and even though her parents didn’t think much of it initially, the patches began spreading.
When they took her to the hospital, the doctor diagnosed her with vitiligo, a long-term condition where pale white patches develop on the skin. It is caused by a lack of melanin, a pigment of the skin.
While Jamila has always remained confident in herself, she would be stared at constantly due to her unique appearance and young children would even be scared of her.
In 2017, her father passed away from a stroke, which left her heartbroken, but she had big plans with him to go plant-based together to take better care of their health. She made it her mission to turn to that diet to honour her father, by this time her vitiligo had turned her skin completely white. At this point, the staring and pointing subsided.
But a year later she began to notice her colour start to come back all over her body and she was stunned. By 2019, her colour has fully returned to her face except white patches on her eyes and mouth.
While the staring has returned along with her pigmentation, she has never felt happier about herself and has decided to share her story with others to encourage more people to embrace their appearance no matter what they looked like.
“I was diagnosed with this condition when I turned eight years old; it was a small patch on my eye. At first my parents and I didn’t think anything of it,” Jamila said.
“I did a lot of karate, so we thought it was a small simple cut on my eye, until we noticed it spreading in different places.
“The spreading wasn’t like an overnight thing it took weeks, months, even years. But when we saw another spot, we knew something wasn’t normal.
“With my mum being a nurse, she rushed me straight to the dermatologist. That’s where I learned what I was diagnosed with.
“Growing up with it, it never really bothered me; I actually loved the fact I was unique from everyone. But there would be times where kids would stare and point their fingers at me, and others laughing or even saying small hurtful things would get to me.
“People would generally stare, ask questions about what I had. In all honesty some people would be a little scared and especially when I was young and around kids.
“Even now at this age kids are scared to come up to me at times which is ok. I do look a little different. But when I turned all white, they didn’t really bother me too much.
“At times it would make me sad because a lot of kids would stare at me at times, but I never let that get to me. I always found a way to explain to others the issue I had, and I was always accepted. So, it didn’t bother me too much after I found out I had it.”
Jamila decided to go plant-based when her father passed away, and while there is no scientific evidence that this diet can heal vitiligo, Jamila says that it has done her skin a world of good.
Before she went plant-based, Jamila would consume mostly chicken, fish and a little bit of red meat, as well as indulging in junk food such as crisps, ice cream and she would eat out at restaurants.
Now that she has gone vegan, she still eats one of her favourite meals like pizza as long as she substitutes the ingredients for plant-based toppings.
“The biggest reason I decided to research into reversing this condition was my father’s passing two years ago,” she said.
“My father and I had huge plans to go plant-based together and just take care of ourselves in a better way. But I never thought it would truly bring my colour back.
“But I know deep down he’s proud of me for the chance I’ve taken. He is truly one of the main reasons I decided to look into it the way I did.
“It’s helping because I’m feeding my body the true nutrients needed which helps reverse the issues within the body. In my opinion it is simple; if you just give your body what it deserves, simple things can be fixed. I feel more than amazing. I truly feel if I can put my story out there more.
“Now that I’m reversing it and going through the same process when I lost my pigmentation, I get the stares, points, and even the little ones saying, ‘mummy what’s on her face?’ kind of questions.
“I can show others with or without health conditions how to truly love themselves, be a strong person within their minds, and just think amazing things about themselves.
“I embrace it to the fullest extent every day; I will forever love this condition. It doesn’t completely build my life and it’s not the main fact about me. But it has helped me grow and learn to truly love myself.
“My friends and family say things like it’s amazing to watch me change back into my original colour and how I’m so strong and beautiful while embracing myself.
“I believe I can show people how to have amazing confidence. At the end of the day I want to show others where truly loving themselves can get them.
“The advice I can give is even if you don’t want to reverse it or change the way you eat. Just always know you are beautiful and strong with the condition don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I want to deeply convey a message of having love, confidence, and positivity.”