Boy With Vitiligo Meets Adorable Dog with Same Condition

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(Facebook / Sit Stay Pet Photography)

A little boy with a rare skin disorder is feeling a lot more confident in his appearance after meeting a dog with the same condition. Eight-year-old Carter Blanchard of Arkansas has vitiligo, a disorder where the cells that create skin pigment are destroyed, which results in white patches all over the body.

Carter’s vitiligo was diagnosed three years ago, and the changes in his skin’s appearance have been rapid. He first started getting the white patches around his eyes, which damaged his confidence. “He was at a big school with a lot of kids and his face was transforming very quickly,” Carter’s mom, Stephanie Adcock, told ABC News, “As he was trying to come to terms with his diagnosis, he had his classmates trying to also because his face was changing in front of them. He’d get in the car after school and say that he hated his face and hated the way he looked.”

Adcock discovered Rowdy by chance, and started showing her son videos and pictures of the dog. She immediately noticed a change in his attitude about his skin disorder. “It couldn’t be anyone with vitiligo that made him feel better. It had to be Rowdy, it had to be a dog,” said Adcock.

Rowdy’s owner, Niki Umbenhower, and Carter’s mom began emailing, and a story about their friendship was featured on the news. An anonymous donor paid $5,000 to fly Carter and Adcock to Oregon to meet Rowdy face-to-face. Rowdy and Carter got along instantly. Said Ubenhower, “I have goose bumps thinking about the minute they walked in the door. It was amazing.”

“It was life-changing meeting Rowdy. It’s changed his childhood for the better,” said Carter’s mom.” About Rowdy’s “spots,” Carter said, “He needs some on his back!” Oh, my heart.