Having a newborn is an extraordinary experience for parents. Patricia Williams was no different. She eagerly captured tender photos of her son to share with others. Little did she know that sharing these precious moments would lead to an unexpected surprise.
Patricia’s son, Redd, was born in 2012. It wasn’t until he was two months old that she started noticing some unique characteristics. Her husband, Dale, became concerned when he observed Redd’s eyes moving side to side. After consulting experts, they were shocked to learn that Redd had Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 1 (OCA1), a rare disorder affecting 1 in 17,000 individuals worldwide.
Initially, Patricia didn’t fully grasp the implications of this condition. She remembers the excitement of the hospital staff when they saw Redd’s white hair and blue eyes. After all, blonde hair ran in their family. However, as time passed, she realized that this was a lifetime reality for her son.
The challenges began when Patricia’s second son, Rockwell, was born with the same condition. Social media users took the opportunity to create vile memes using Rockwell’s photos. Both Redd and Rockwell faced bullying for looking different, but with the support of their older brother Gage, they found comfort and protection.
Instead of succumbing to the negativity, Patricia and Dale decided to become champions for spreading awareness about albinism. Patricia was concerned about how her children would be treated and how their family dynamics would change, but she also saw an opportunity to educate others.
Patricia became an advocate, using the attention her sons received to raise awareness about albinism. She noticed a lack of understanding about the condition and wanted to change that. Through sharing their story, she aimed to dispel misconceptions and provide accurate information.
Redd, with the support of his family, underwent eye surgery and transitioned to a public school. He didn’t let his differences define him. He played outside like any other kid, with the simple addition of a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Redd’s resilience inspired his younger brother, Rockwell, who is also thriving.
Today, both boys are living their best lives. Patricia wants to emphasize that people with albinism don’t have red eyes, contrary to popular belief. Their eyes often have a beautiful light blue color.
The journey hasn’t always been easy, but Patricia’s dedication to spreading awareness and embracing differences has made all the difference. Redd and Rockwell continue to shine, illuminating our world with their unique perspective and unwavering spirit.