By Therina Wentzel, National Director of the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities They’re cursed. As we mark International Albinism Awareness Day on 13 June, it’s worth reflecting on these terrible – and sometimes lethal – myths, superstitions and stereotypes (as well as many others) about people with albinism, and how we can each play a part in exploding them.Their families are being punished by ancestral spirits. Albinism is simply this: a genetic condition that is caused by a recessive gene, carried by both of a person’s parents.Their body parts make potent charms for riches and success. That person’s body has little or no ability to produce melanin, which colours their skin, hair and eyes.
The condition is a congenital disorder characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.
Less than five people per 100,000 in the United States and Europe, suffer from the rare condition which leaves the skin and hair white.
Growing up Leo did experience some abuse about the way he looks, but he never let it get to him."When I was younger, people – usually grown men – would just shout racial things to me, and to my family," he said.
Kids at school also picked on him because he was different.
It is important to note that millions of people carry this recessive gene without it affecting their appearance, many of whom probably do not even realise they carry the gene.
Albinism results specifically when both parents of a child carry the gene.
They have lost part of their youth and part of their dignity.
Fund founder Elissa Montanti said: 'We put them back together.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Albinos are attacked for their body parts, which are highly prized in witchcraft and can fetch a high price.