This Boy With A Rare Skin Disorder Met A Dog With The Same Condition

8-year-old Carter Blanchard has vitiligo, a skin condition that causes white patches on his skin — and he flew across the country to meet a dog who has the same condition.
According to ABC, Blanchard, from Arkansas, was diagnosed with vitiligo in 2014 while he was in kindergarten. Vitiligo has no known cause, according to the National Institutes of Health, though it may be an autoimmune disease, which happens when the immune system attacks parts of the body.
Blanchard's mother, Stephanie Adcock, told ABC that the patches first appeared around his eyes, and dealt a blow to his confidence.
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“He was at a big school with a lot of kids and his face was transforming very quickly,” she told ABC. “As he was trying to come to terms with it, he had his classmates trying to also because his face was changing in front of them.”
"The first thing he’d tell me when he got in the car is that he hated his face and hated the way he looked," she said.
But when Blanchard discovered photos of Rowdy, a dog who has the same skin condition, it changed the way he thought about the disorder. Rowdy, who was also diagnosed with vitiligo in 2014, is something of an internet-famous dog, complete with his own social media profiles.
"Vitiligo is a very rare condition and he was very upset that he had it but now he is proud that he was chosen to have vitiligo and this is the way he is and he wouldn’t have it any other way," Adcock told ABC. "He thinks that everyone else’s skin is boring."
Adcock began emailing with Rowdy's owner, Niki Umbenhower, and when the story of Blanchard and Rowdy's friendship was featured on KATU, an anonymous viewer sent $5,000 so that Blanchard could fly to Oregon to meet the dog in person.
“When we walked in, I didn’t feel like we were walking in for the very first time. They were family already,” Adcock told ABC. “You could tell Rowdy knew something was going on and felt the energy of the room.”
Umbenhower told ABC that Blanchard petted Rowdy for two hours, and the two have "been together ever since.”
Sadly, Rowdy recently suffered a seizure, and doctors say more tests need to be done to determine the causes. In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the costs.
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