Join us for an intimate look into the life of Charise Johnson, a vibrant young African-American woman with a 10-year-old son and a busy life. When you first see her you can tell right away she's different. Charise has Albinism. And when you get to know her you will discover she really is different and there's nothing wrong with that.
In 1974, when Charise was born, a childhood free of major health problems is not what life had in store for her. At the age of nine she was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. By the time Charise became an adult, she'd had several surgeries, a temporary ostomy bag, and ultimately had her large intestines removed entirely; after which she developed Crohn's disease. Arthritis has left her in need of knee replacements and a lifetime of damage to her skin from the sun has lead to re-occurring skin cancers.
Charise, being blessed with a mature and supportive family had incredible support throughout her developmental years. They are what kept her grounded when the social pains far outweighed her physical ills. There was no shortage of bullies and teasers in Charise's life. Even as an adult she can't escape the verbal abuse of strangers with statements like "what are you?".
In "Charise: A Portrait of an African American with Albinism", Charise shares with us, her pains and her joys. She talks about her family life and what it is like having Albinism from medical, social and personal perspectives.
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