Home Family Baby mocked for having white hair—years later he appears joyful and healthy

Baby mocked for having white hair—years later he appears joyful and healthy

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Like many proud parents, Patricia Williams enjoyed capturing precious moments of her newborn son and sharing them with others. However, when she started to share pictures of her son, she encountered an unexpected response.

Patricia’s son, Redd, was born in 2012 with a distinctive feature – white hair. When he was around two months old, Patricia began to observe several unusual characteristics in him.

As an infant, Redd’s eyes exhibited unusual side-to-side movements. When Patricia’s husband, Dale, searched online for possible reasons, he came across a startling possibility – it could be a symptom of albinism. Unfamiliar with the term, Patricia initially doubted the theory, but Redd did exhibit the common signs of albinism, including pale skin, white hair, and moving eyes.

 

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A post shared by Patricia Williams (@snagdip)

Seeking professional advice, the couple consulted with an optometrist and genetic specialists. The diagnosis confirmed their suspicions – Redd had Oculocutaneous Albinism Type One (OCA1), a condition affecting approximately 1 in 17,000 people worldwide.

Upon Redd’s birth, the hospital staff were intrigued by the white-haired, blue-eyed baby. Patricia, however, didn’t think much of it at the time, as she, her husband, and their firstborn son Gage all had blonde hair.

About a month after bringing Redd home, Patricia noticed his hair was exceptionally white, shimmering in the sun. Furthermore, his eyes would follow moving objects and wouldn’t divert, a phenomenon known as tracking. His eyes were so blue that they appeared to glow red in certain lights.

 

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A post shared by Patricia Williams (@snagdip)

At first, Patricia assumed her son would outgrow these features. However, when her second son was also born with the same traits, she came to understand that this was a permanent condition.

In February 2018, Patricia’s younger son, Rockwell, was born, also exhibiting the same signs of albinism as his older brother, Redd. Unfortunately, their photos were misused on social media, transformed into unkind memes by insensitive individuals.

Redd had already faced bullying at school, as kids mocked him for his distinctive looks. His older brother Gage took on a protective role due to these incidents. By the time Rockwell was born, the family was well-informed about albinism and were ready to provide the necessary support. However, they were not prepared for their son’s pictures to be turned into memes.

 

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A post shared by Patricia Williams (@snagdip)

Initially, Dale and Patricia attempted to contact those who had shared the manipulated image, asking them to remove it. They soon realized, though, that their efforts were futile, and they made the difficult decision to disregard the situation.

Despite the challenges, Dale and Patricia decided to become advocates for raising awareness about albinism, aiming to prevent children with the condition from being bullied. When Redd’s diagnosis was confirmed, Patricia felt a wave of concern. She worried about how he would be treated for his differences, and how their family life would change to accommodate a child who was potentially legally blind and had sensitive skin.

Patricia also explained why Rockwell attracted so much attention. She said, “It’s very unusual to see a baby with white hair, and Rockwell’s hair sticks straight up, so it’s very noticeable.” She hoped that by raising awareness, they could help ensure more understanding and acceptance for those with albinism.

 

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A post shared by Patricia Williams (@snagdip)

Following the viral spread of her son’s image, Patricia amassed a significant number of followers. She soon started receiving questions about her son’s unique appearance, and it became clear to her that people lacked understanding about albinism.

She recognized that much of what people knew about albinism was based on inaccurate depictions in obscure movies. This realization made her see that she was in a unique position to educate others and raise awareness about the condition.

To help Redd, the family decided to have eye surgery to correct his strabismus, a condition that causes crossed eyes. After the surgery, Redd transitioned from a private school for visually impaired children to a mainstream public school. The surgery proved to be a transformative decision for Redd and the family, significantly improving his quality of life.

The family decided on surgery instead of having Redd wear an eye patch, which would have further singled him out and drawn unwanted attention. As Redd grew older, his peers started noticing his differences less and less.

They came to understand that Redd needed to wear a hat, dark sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect him from the sun when playing outdoors. But apart from these precautions, he was just like any other child. His younger brother, Rockwell, who shared the same condition, also thrived and developed just like any other child of his age.

On April 28, 2023, Patricia shared a video of Rockwell participating in his school’s “Western Day.” This time, the response on social media was overwhelmingly positive, with many commenting on how “cute” and “adorable” the little boy looked.

Patricia took the opportunity to debunk a common misconception about albinism — that individuals with the condition have red eyes. In reality, she explained, their eyes are typically light blue due to a lack of pigment.

Both boys are now thriving, enjoying their lives to the fullest. This heartwarming story serves as a testament to the resilience of this amazing family. It’s a story worth sharing with others, promoting understanding, and celebrating difference.