Teenaged Harpenden model's skin disorder campaign

PUBLISHED: 18:53 25 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

Abigail Rose

Abigail Rose

A BEAUTY pageant finalist from Harpenden is using her newfound fame to raise awareness about the chronic skin disorder she suffers from. Abigail Rose, aged 14, of Hillside Road, was talent scouted for the Teen Princess UK pageant at the Clothes Show in Bi

A BEAUTY pageant finalist from Harpenden is using her newfound fame to raise awareness about the chronic skin disorder she suffers from.

Abigail Rose, aged 14, of Hillside Road, was talent scouted for the Teen Princess UK pageant at the Clothes Show in Birmingham last December and after having successfully got through the first round, she is now in the final heats of the competition.

St George's Secondary School pupil Abigail, who lives in Hillside Road, entered the pageant to raise awareness about vitiligo, a condition she has suffered from for nearly 10 years which causes the skin and sometimes the hair to turn white in patches.

Abigail, who is a keen supporter of the Vitiligo Society, said that the pageant was the perfect opportunity to spread the word: "What better way to give vitiligo publicity than to be in a competition like this? One of the biggest parts of dealing with the condition is the feeling of being the only one and I can help people with that."

She added: "It's very nerve-wracking being in the Teen Princess Pageant but all my friends and family are being very supportive and I enjoyed the professional photo shoot.

"Hopefully I will get lots of votes from the public and I will make it through to the final."

Abigail, who recently addressed the Vitiligo Society's Medicine and Me symposium at the Royal Society of Medicine, is greatly involved with the Vitiligo Society and manager of the charity Jennifer Viles said that she was pleased to have Abigail on board.

"We are very proud to support Abigail to reach the final of the Teen Princess Beauty Pageant. By supporting Abi we will all be showing the world that having vitiligo stops noone from being successful and beautiful."

Abigail currently has just under 150 public votes and to help her get through to the live finals in August, you can text Abigail Rose to 84205 or telephone 0901 656 153009 then enter 09.

Vitiligo - some facts about the condition

n Michael Jackson was diagnosed with vitiligo in 1986. He admitted he had the condition in February 1993 in a bid to tackle speculation about his changing skin colour.

n Vitiligo occurs when the melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation which are derived from the neural crest, die or are unable to function. The precise pathogenesis, or cause, of vitiligo is complex and not yet fully understood.


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