Sharon King has lived with vitiligo for over 20 years. Vitiligo is an auto-immune disorder that manifests in white patches on the skin and hair. Diagnosed in 1999 at the age of 12, adolescence was no picnic. Options for support outside of medical treatment were few and far between. "Support" websites were clinical and unwelcoming so Sharon decided to just deal. She threw her energies into sports and writing poetry while combating the everyday transgressions that inevitably come with living with differences.
Over the years, Sharon developed a strong sense of self. By the time she graduated from high school, Sharon participated in many leadership programs as well as earning the title of captain of her varsity basketball team. Due to injury, Sharon was unable to play basketball at the collegiate level and managed the team instead. Now, Sharon is a coach, certified basketball official and a spirited spectator when her son Ladanion is on the court. Sharon stays active in the basketball community most notably as the Director of Operations for the SISrun Sports women's program.
In 2017, the vitiligo on Sharon's face began to spread. This was not uncommon but for the first time in her life, she wasn't upset or anxious about her skin changing. A peace she had never known washed over her as she smiled in her rear-view mirror realizing that she had finally accepted herself unconditionally. This motivated Sharon to create what would become Litty Ligo.
Litty Ligo is an education and resource network. With the help of over 20 "Litty Committee" advocates worldwide, this network of support has become a known entity in the vitiligo community. "We raise awareness about the social and mental health aspect of living with vitiligo while educating adults and children alike in an effort reinforce the narrative of unconditional self acceptance. We curate attractions to educate and empower many communities around the world." - from the Litty Ligo website.
Over the past three years, Sharon has collected notable accomplishments. She has collaborated with the City of Boston, prestigious education institutions, renowned businesses and respected non-profit organizations to educate and empower people from all walks of life.
In 2018, Sharon facilitated the women's forum at the World Vitligo Day Conference in Houston Texas. In 2019, she was a speaker at the Boston Women's March proclaiming to a crowd of over 10,000 "I am a strong, powerful woman and my skin does not define me." In 2020, Sharon was a panelist for the first ever virtual World Vitiligo Day in the United States as well as a speaker for the first ever virtual ADA Day hosted by the Boston Center for Independent Living and the City of Boston.
Most recently, Sharon was a panelist for Beyond Skin Deep, an Atlantic Live virtual event that highlighted the psychological and real-world repercussions of a beauty obsessed society for people living with rare skin conditions.
As an advocate of human rights, Sharon has spoken on and submitted testimony to congress in favor of funding for person-centered care for people living with vitiligo and disability rights.
In September of 2020, Sharon participated in the 2020 AADA Virtual Legislative Conference advocating for protection for dermatologists and their patients during these uncertain times.
A strong, powerful woman indeed.
Sharon M. King