A young boy with vitiligo finds a piece of himself in an unlikely reflection
A young boy with vitiligo finds a piece of himself in an unlikely reflection. Carter Blanchard, 8, was diagnosed with vitiligo, a skin condition that causes the skin to lose pigmentation and develop white patches to the affected skin cells, at age 6. After the diagnosis, Carter started losing the spark in his eyes.
Around the time Adcock’s son was trying to navigate school life with vitiligo, she found an interesting picture on Facebook. Rowdy, a dog with vitiligo, had picked up a small internet following after his owner, Niki Umbenhower, posted pictures of her dog to social media.
Carter took a liking to Rowdy and started watching videos of the dog. His mom told the Network that he made a “180” in how he thought of his own vitiligo. She went on to explain further, “he was very upset that he had it but now he is proud that he was chosen to have vitiligo and this is the way he is and he wouldn’t have it any other way,” Adcock said. “He thinks that everyone else’s skin is boring.”
When Adcock saw how Rowdy the dog changed her son’s self-esteem, she decided to reach out to the dog’s owner through social media. For the past year, Carter and Rowdy have been building a friendship through the internet. Umbenhower and Adcock have wanted to bring the two together, but living in two different states has made that difficult.
After, Oregon ABC affiliate KATU featured Carter and Rowdy’s friendship story, a viewer, choosing to remain anonymous, donated $5,000 to fly the young boy and his mom to Oregon to meet his new friend.
Last weekend, the two were finally able to meet. The network interviewed Carter’s mom, “When we walked in I didn’t feel like we were walking in for the very first time, they were family already, you could tell Rowdy knew something was going on and felt the energy of the room.”
According to Umbenhower, Rowdy treated Carter like an old friend. “Carter will be on the floor doing Legos and Rowdy will come and lay down next to him,” she said. Adding about the pair’s first meeting, “Carter hugged him and petted him for two hours straight and they’ve been together ever since.”
With the help of Rowdy, Carter could embrace his vitiligo and change the way he viewed himself.
Sadly, Rowdy recently suffered a seizure. Doctors say he needs more medical tests to determine what’s wrong. If you would like to help Rowdy, a GoFundMe has been set up.