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Albino mother writes children’s book to bring awareness to Albinism

She is now sharing her story – in published form - to celebrate what makes her and thousands of others different, but as she says, special.
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 10:14 PM EDT
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INDIAN LAND, S.C. (WBTV) - An Indian Land mother is is putting pen to paper to teach others about Albinism.

Albinism is a rare genetic condition with the absence of pigment in a person’s hair, skin, and eyes. She is now sharing her story – in published form - to celebrate what makes her and thousands of others different, but as she says, special.

Megan Cauthen and her brother Marty were both born with Albinism.

To the world, it may just be a word, but for her, it’s a reality she lives with every day.

“It leaves a lot us having no pigmentation, so we don’t have any pigmentation in our hair, skin, or eyes, and it also can affect our vision,” Cauthen said.

Day after day, Megan’s 9-year-old daughter, Kaleigh, says her classmates would ask her questions, many that hurt her to the core.

“There’s this boy he’s like a bully and he would be like ‘that’s your mom?’ And I’d be like ‘yeah’ and he would say ‘no’ and it made me really sad,” Kaleigh said.

It’s those same scenarios and that took Cauthen back to darker days of her childhood, many questioning her Blackness and image.

“I was called Casper, the little White girl, or ‘she thinks she’s Black look at the braids in her hair, I got called ugly,” Cauthen said.

Kaleigh asked her mom to write a letter to the class - but Cauthen took it a step further and wrote the children’s book “Nellie & Ollie: Meeting a Friend Like Me.” The book tells the story from the perspective of an albino child and her friendship with an albino squirrel.

Cauthen said she chose the squirrel because squirrels can and do have Albinism, plus she wanted something kid-friendly for children to understand, but she says this book is for adults too.

“So many people are just so unaware of what albinism is and it’s very important to at everyone knows. It’s okay to look different but we are all human and we should all be treated with respect,” she said.

Cauthen hopes with each page turn other Albino children and adults will realize how special they are too.

“You are beautiful, you are strong, you are unique. Just because you don’t look like the next person doesn’t make you any different,” she said.

“Nellie & Ollie: Meeting a Friend Like Me” will be released on October 6, Cauthen’s birthday.

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