In 2012, when baby Redd came into the world, his parents, Patricia and Dale Williams, experienced immense happiness. Yet, they couldn’t help but notice that their little one was unique compared to other infants they had encountered. Redd’s hair was as white as snow, making him look incredibly endearing. Nevertheless, when he reached around two months old, they observed that his eyes exhibited constant sideways movements.
Filled with concern that something might be amiss, they turned to the internet to research the symptoms, and their suspicions grew stronger that Redd might have albinism.
Their initial step involved scheduling appointments with an optometrist and genetic specialists to obtain an official diagnosis. Before long, their suspicions were confirmed: Redd was diagnosed with Oculocutaneous Albinism Type one (OCA1), a rare condition that affects approximately 1 in 17,000 people worldwide.
Upon Redd’s birth, the hospital staff expressed enthusiasm over his distinctive appearance, and everyone was curious to catch a glimpse of the baby with the snowy-white hair. Patricia initially held the belief that his hair would eventually darken with time, but after receiving the albinism diagnosis, she realized that his striking white hair and occasionally sparkling red eyes in certain lights would be permanent features.
Then, in 2018, Patricia and Dale joyfully welcomed their second son, Rockwell, who was born with the same albinism condition as his older brother, Redd.
Regrettably, both Redd and Rockwell faced challenging times during their kindergarten and school years as their peers mocked their appearance. Despite their older brother Gage’s protective nature, who doesn’t have albinism, the bullying persisted.
Patricia made every effort to empower her children to embrace their appearances and cultivate self-love. However, an unsettling incident occurred that disturbed them deeply. Someone took a photo of Rockwell that Patricia had shared on her social media and turned it into a meme. Despite their pleas for its removal, the meme had already spread across the internet.
Recognizing their limited options, they chose to brush off the incident and not allow it to disrupt their lives. Instead, they transformed into advocates with a mission to raise awareness about albinism. When Patricia’s photo of Rockwell went viral, she gained a substantial following on social media, leading to numerous inquiries about her sons. This made her realize that there were many people out there who had little knowledge about albinism, and what they knew was primarily based on obscure movies with limited representation.
Redd recently had an eye operation to correct his strabismus, which led to him transferring from a private school for visually impaired children to a public school. The family considered the surgery a wise choice since it greatly benefited Redd. They opted for the surgery instead of having him wear eye patches to avoid drawing extra attention and to reduce the chances of him being bullied.
On April 28, 2023, Patricia posted a video of Rockwell participating in his school’s “Western Day.” Unlike previous experiences of being bullied, this time the young boy received an outpouring of love and admiration on social media.
Both Redd and Rockwell are currently doing very well.
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