João Stanganelli, a 64-year-old man from Brazil, suffers from Vitiligo. He was 38 when the signs of Vitiligo started to be visible in him. A disease that affects almost 3 million Brazilians, Vitiligo results in the loss of skin colour in certain areas of the person's body. Though there are a number of treatments available in the medical world to fight the condition, the most difficult aspect to cope with is other people's prejudice towards those suffering from Vitiligo.
João Stanganelli, used to work in the gastronomy industry, but, his life underwent a drastic change last year after he started to have heart problem. Stanganelli stayed strong and did not allow the obstacle to restrict his life. He decided to develop a hobby to keep his mind healthy, active and most importantly happy. For this, Stanganelli, along with his wife Marilena, decided to learn crochet.
Stanganelli accepted that crochet was not an easy task and he even though many a times he thought about giving, but he did not surrender, instead deciding to persevere and after 5 days from the day he started learning, he had already crotched his first doll.
A report by Bright Side said when Stanganelli was asked can anyone crochet, he responded, "Definitely not. This isn’t an activity that would suit everyone since it can cause calluses on the fingers and that irritates some people. However, once you get used to it, you don’t want to stop."
The germ of starting crochet crept into his mind when he thought of making dolls for his granddaughter as he wanted to do something "pretty special" so that she would always remember him.
Stanganelli decided to knit a doll with Vitiligo, and that’s how, Vitilinda, a pretty doll with spots and uneven skin, was born.
After the success of Vitilinda, Stanganelli decided to do more inclusive crochet works. He then started to make dolls in a wheelchair, which were liked and loved by everyone and made his work even more rewarding.
One of the top most goals of Stanganelli is to improve the self-esteem of the little ones who live with Vitiligo and to cheer them up. During his interviews, Stanganelli always shares the message, “The spots I have are beautiful. What hurts me are the flaws in people’s characters.”