When baby Redd was born in 2012, his mom and dad, Patricia and Dale Williams were overjoyed. At the same time, they knew their bundle of joy was different than most babies they have seen. Redd’s hair was as white as snow, and he looked adorable beyond words. However, when he turned around two months old, they noticed that his eyes would constantly move side to side.
Worried that something could be wrong, they googled the symptoms and were almost certain that Redd had albinism.
The first thing they did was making an appointment with an optometrist and genetic specialists to help with an official diagnosis. And, it was soon made official; Redd had Oculocutaneous Albinism Type one (OCA1) a condition which affects 1 in 17,000 people globally.
When Redd was born, the hospital staff were excited over his looks and everyone wanted to see the baby with the white hair. Patricia believed that Redd would overgrow this and that his hair would turn darker over time, but now that he was diagnosed with albinism, she knew that his white hair and blue eyes which would sometimes sparkle red in certain lights were there to stay.
Then, in 2018, Patricia and Dale welcomed son Rockwell who was born with the same condition as his older brother.
Sadly, both Redd and Rockwell experienced hard time at kindergarten and at school as their peers made fun of their looks. Their older brother Gage, who doesn’t have albinism, has been very protective of them, but still, the bullying has been present.
Patricia also did in her power to teach her children to accept their looks and learn how to love themselves the way they are, but then something that disturbed them happened. Someone used a photo of Rockwell that Patricia shared on her social media and turned it into a meme. The parents asked for it to be deleted, but its was already shared all over the internet.
Realizing there was nothing they could do, they decided to ignore the incident and not let it affect their lives. Instead, they became advocates who want to raise awareness about albinism. After Patricia gained a lot of followers on her social media because of Rockwell’s photo which went viral, she received plenty of questions about her sons, and that’s when she realized there were a lot of people out there who knew little about albinism, and what they knew came from obscure movies with little representation.
As of Redd, he underwent an eye surgery to correct his strabismus and shifted from a private school for blind children to a public one. The surgery was a brilliant decision for the family as it helped Redd a lot. They chose surgery over Redd wearing eye patches because they didn’t want him to attract further attention, and with that, to lessen the bullying.
On April 28, 2023, Patricia shared a clip of Rockwell from his school’s “Western Day.” This time around, the little boy was met with a lot of love and appreciation on social media as opposed to the times when was called names.
Both Redd and Rockwell are now thriving.
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Love and Peace