The role of grandfathers in children’s lives is mainly to bring joy and wisdom to their grandkids. They’re also extra aware of what goes on in your mind because they still possess that child-like quality deep inside them. Grandpa Joao Stanganelli Jr. from Brazil is a unique grandpa, in this case – he brings joy and wisdom to more than just his grandchildren. He is specially bonded with children that are afflicted with a skin condition called Vitiligo, because he knows exactly what they are going through, since he suffers from the same.
Vitiligo is a skin condition that loses color of and causes the skin to have white blotches in any part of the body, including the hair. This skin condition is not contagious or deadly, but it can lead to stress and lower the self-esteem of the person afflicted with it, since we live in a society that cares so much about the ‘perfect’ physical appearance.
It is even more traumatising for children who have Vitiligo because they are normally subjected to bullying by their classmates and friends, which leads them to become anti-social. Because of this, this Brazilian grandfather decided to do something to make them happy.
64-year-old Joao has been living with his condition for over 30 years, therefore his white blotches have become more visible through time. Another health issue he was suffering from has led to his early retirement so he wanted to get into a hobby to keep him healthy, active and busy. Joao and his wife then started taking up crocheting and he took to it as if he was born with this talent and skill.
Joao soon got addicted to crocheting and there was no stopping him. He first created a doll for his granddaughter, and to remind her of him – he added some white patches to the doll. That is where he got inspiration to make dolls for other children suffering from Vitiligo, he started making his creations more inclusive.
The crochet master began creating dolls that had disabilities such as those riding in wheelchairs, and others with vitiligo blotches or alopecia on their bodies. He wanted to inspire children through his creations to respect and value every person, no matter what. He wanted to teach children that everyone is normal.
He thinks having spots on his body is normal, it is a part of him and he is very comfortable in his own skin. People have naturally admired his work by reaching out to him saying that some of their family members have been shunned or faced humiliation in the community, just because they had blemishes in their physical appearance. Everyone was grateful for this grandfather’s creations and praised him for his ingenuity and inclusion.
Check out Joao’s latest creations on his Instagram (@joaostanganelli) and his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/lenaamigurumi18/)
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