Time again for StoryCorps, where people across the country are interviewing loved ones and adding their stories to an archive of American voices. Cheri Lindsay and her father, Phillip, have a rare skin condition. It's called vitiligo, and it causes people to gradually lose the pigment in their skin. The discoloration starts as a patch that appears randomly, and it can grow over time. The Lindsays are African-American, and Cheri's condition has spread so dramatically over the past four years that most of her face and body now appear white.

CHERI LINDSAY: It started around my eyes, and it literally grew out like a mask. And I remember calling and saying, you know, dad, my vitiligo's moving kind of fast.

PHILLIP LINDSAY: Well, I was shocked because I had asked doctors if any of my kids would have vitiligo, and they said probably not, it usually skips a generation. So when I found out that you had it, I was scared for you.

C. LINDSAY: It was easy for me to deal with because of seeing you deal with it. Like, I've never seen you without vitiligo, and so it's like, that's normal, that's my dad.

P. LINDSAY: I have five kids, and when I had to take you guys out and about, you guys wanted to protect me.

C. LINDSAY: Ready to fight (laughing).

P. LINDSAY: OK, yeah. Anything anyone did or said, you guys were just like, hey, watch yourself. And so I had to ease your guys' mind and let you understand that I was OK. I didn't need the protection.

C. LINDSAY: I know for me, I get stared at like crazy.

P. LINDSAY: Well, I know there's kids that like to touch me. How do they react to you?

C. LINDSAY: Man, there was a point I would avoid kids in the store. If a kid (laughing) was coming down the aisle, I'm like, I don't need no bread. But I did something one time. I was at Walmart and I'm walking down the aisle, and this little boy - he had to be about 5 or 6 - he was just staring at me. He looked so freaked out. But I stopped and I said, you want to know why I look like this? And he was like, yeah. I said, because I was staring at somebody in Walmart.


C. LINDSAY: And I told his mom, I was, like, you know, I'm just kidding with him.

P. LINDSAY: Well, Cheri, you know, you're a very beautiful woman, and you keep your head up and you just - and you walk on. And I couldn't be more proud of you for the way you handle yourself, really. My chest goes out for you.

WERTHEIMER: Phillip Lindsay and his daughter Cherie talking about the rare skin condition they share. Their conversation was recorded in Denver, Colorado, and will be archived at the Library of Congress. Get the StoryCorp podcast on iTunes and at


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