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Alumni Profile Cheri Lindsay

Spring/Summer 2014

She describes herself as competitive by nature and refuses to let her outward appearance stop her from being successful.

Lindsay, Tiffin University’s assistant volleyball coach and the advisor for Student African American Sisterhood of Excellence, was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was attending college in Texas, and the skin condition has progressed within the last four years.

Lindsay said having vitiligo is just like having any other skin condition; anyone can get it.

Most people think that only people of color can be impacted by the skin condition, but that is not true.

“There is no pain involved either,” she said. “I like to say that the only thing that this condition attacks is your vanity, and just like with any other skin condition, if you can accept the fact that you have it, moving on is very easy to do.”

Mayo Clinic explains that vitiligo “is a condition in which your skin loses melanin, the pigment that determines the color of your skin, hair and eyes. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or no longer form melanin, causing slowly enlarging white patches of irregular shapes to appear on your skin.”

There is no cure for the condition.

“The goal of treatment is to stop or slow the progression of pigment loss and, if you desire, attempt to return some color to your skin,” according to Mayo Clinic.

Lindsay said in her opinion, her overcoming the condition was accomplished long before she had it because her father has the condition as well.

“I grew up my entire life knowing that I could potentially get vitiligo,” she said.

She has seen how people are drawn to her father and his personality. “By seeing this and adopting most of my father’s personality traits, I have been able to overcome having vitiligo very easily. It has also helped me to be able to help other people deal with this and other skin conditions.”

Lindsay uses her skin condition to let people know that no matter what may be going on, they still can exude confidence and be beautiful. “Everyone is beautiful in their own way, and no one is perfect by any means,” she said.

“I think it is very important to let people know that,” she said. “I also think it is very important for people to know that you can still be successful no matter what and to not back down from any challenge.”

Lindsay, a 24-year-old old native of Denver, Colorado, has hobbies of reading, writing, playing sports and spending time with her family. She received undergraduate degrees in psychology and communications from Prairie View A&M University in Texas, and finished her MBA with a concentration in leadership at Tiffin University this spring.

“I have always been very passionate about school and I feel very blessed to be able to serve as a positive role model at such a prestigious university,” she said. “As a coach, I am able to coach the sport that I love as well as help my players, and other students, achieve their goal of obtaining a degree.”

Cheri made a YouTube video, “My Vitiligo Story,” when she was 20 years old and she briefly talked about L’Oreal’s product, Dermablend, and how she used it and that is how L’Oreal discovered her.

Lindsay models for Dermablend, because she wears it every day. She said she has been wearing it ever since she started getting vitiligo on her face and loves it.

Cheri made the video because every time she visited Youtube and typed in vitiligo, all of the stories were so sad.

“I have never been ashamed of it,” she said, “so I decided to make a video telling everyone my story, with the hopes of spreading awareness and letting people with vitiligo know that they do not have to hide! The views for that initial video were off the charts, according to Cheri, and everyone left great feedback. So last year, when L’Oreal came to her with the offer to join into a partnership, she was thrilled and accepted immediately.

In the video, Cheri wipes makeup off her face, revealing her skin disease, and explains her disease.

“I’m inviting you to blend in to stand out,” she said in the video.

Lindsay said she wants everyone who follows her to know that she is an open book.

“I try to respond to everyone on my Youtube page and answer all of the emails that I get from everyone,” she said. “I want people to know that they can talk to me about anything.”