My name is Irene. Science is my trade, and people are my purpose.

When I was a teenager, I began to develop white patches on my body, that I later learned was vitiligo. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder that damages/kills the cells that produce pigment. While it is not life threatening, for many, it becomes life altering.

Living with vitiligo propelled me into a journey of self-discovery that I didn’t initially ask for. However, I have come to embrace the experiences, challenges, and benefits that it has brought into my life. Vitiligo has not only caused my skin to reflect many colors, but my life has been colored just as much by it. I’ve known for a long time that I needed to share my story.

I hope that the stories of my journey inspire others – not only individuals with vitiligo, but everyone who reads and follows along – to discover their own uniqueness, and begin to see beauty in the most unconventional places and circumstances.

P.S. I mentioned science was my trade. I have a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Physiology. We’ll talk more about that along the way.