A beautiful young woman has narrated the battle she fought after developing vitiligo months before her wedding.
A bride was left in tears after developing vitiligo months before her wedding. The young woman revealed that the condition was triggered by the stress of planning her big day.
The woman identified as Kandice Benford, 32, ‘freaked out’ when white blotches began to spread over her body shortly before she was due to walk down the aisle.
The bride, of Terry, Mississippi, thinks the condition, which causes patches of skin lose their pigment, may have been triggered by the anxiety of fine-tuning the details of the wedding.
Kandice first noticed white spots on her hands when she was at college in her late teens.
‘I had a spot here and there and I had heard about vitiligo so I knew what it was but I didn’t really care about it at the time,’ she said.
It was only when she hit 30 in 2015 — less than a year before she was due to tie the knot with her partner, Elliott Benford — that the disease spread rapidly.
Kandice’s husband-to-be, who is now 30, was also sick at the time. The bride was juggling work and wedding planning while worrying about his health.
Vitiligo is widely believed to be an autoimmune disorder and though its exact cause isn’t known, stress and emotional trauma can exacerbate the symptoms.
‘I think stress triggered it, because when I got stressed I started seeing a more prominent spot on my nose and it started spreading more,’ Kandice said. ‘It was like it happened overnight.’
Over the course of a year, the white spots spread and now they cover her entire body. For her wedding day, the bride desperately tried to cover the spots with make-up at first.
However, Elliott’s support convinced her otherwise, and Kandice tied the knot on November 5 last year wearing minimal make-up, over the course of what she called a ‘perfect day’.
Now, as the couple celebrate their first anniversary, Kandice is more confident than ever and hopes to inspire other women with vitiligo to embrace their bodies.
‘I was really down about it at first,’ she said of the condition. ‘You see yourself every day for 30 years and then one morning you wake up and you look different.’
Coping with vitiligo, she said, was made even more difficult when other people asked questions or stared at her.
‘Kids would say, “Mommy, was is that all over her face?” or people would ask, “Is it a burn?” ‘ she recounted.
‘I was freaking out but everybody has been very supportive. My husband said, “You’re beautiful with or without it.”
‘I gave myself a pep talk and moved on. I had to embrace it. My body is my body. I ended up feeling great on my wedding day. I can honestly say having vitiligo has made me more confident in myself.’