Amaurys perez, former blue water polo player and now coach of De Akker in Bologna, tells OK Salute e Benessere about his battle against vitiligo. Here is his story.
Amaurys Pérez: “After Dancing I got vitiligo”
The first time was in 2014, a few months after the conclusion of the ninth edition of the talent dancing with the Stars. I looked at my hands and saw the white spots on my fingertips and the mirror revealed others on the face, at mustache height. There vitiligo. “Oh, man, I don’t want to go white!” Was my first alarmed thought as I watched those blotches stand out on my brown complexion, I who am originally from Cuba. It was – as I discovered later – the stress of last intense period of my life came to present the bill.
Sports and television engagements have exacerbated the stress
At the time of Milly Carlucci’s call as a competitor on her talent show, in fact, I was in the middle of my water polo career. With the Italian national team I had posted a gold at the 2011 Shanghai World Cup and a silver at the London 2012 Olympics and in that last part of 2013 I was playing for Acquachiara di Napoli, who at the time were fighting in the leading positions of the championship. of A1 and for the first time participated in the Len Champions League, the most prestigious European men’s club tournament. In short, between matches and training there were many commitments, and now the dance-television ones in Rome were added, with daily rehearsals together with my teacher and dance partner, Veera Kinnunen. Every day I had to commute between the capital and Naples or the city where the match was located. Between car, train and plane I traveled thousands of kilometers a week.
I remember that, when we were playing in the North, with the approval of the president and the Acquachiara teammates, I went out after the third time, out of the four totals of each water polo match, in order not to miss the flight or the train that took me to Rome. It went on for three exciting – in Ballando we finished seconds – how intense months. Too much for the physicist, upon input from the mind, not to complain. Here, then, this disease that blocks the production of melanin.
Amaurys Pérez: “I cure myself with cold light micro-phototherapy”
I admit, taken from“whitening” anxiety, I did what should not be done, looking for the solution on the internet instead of going to a dermatologist right away. However, I did careful research, until I found a new method patented by an Italian company that intrigued me: the cold light micro-therapy. There was talk of an innovative device capable of flooding only the white spots with UVB rays capable of reactivating the cells that produce melanin. I called the toll-free number indicated and made an appointment at a specialized dermatological center. With two sessions a month, the spots on the face soon receded, while for those on the hands, more resistant, it took much longer, but the result was equally excellent.
Sometimes the spots come back
Today I continue with maintenance sessions, once a month, because every now and then some specks reappear. Because, despite having hung the cap on a nail, I still have a full life. In fact, I have become the coach of De Akker, the Bologna waterpolo team, which this season will compete in the A2 championship with great ambitions. This, however, leads me to go back and forth with Calabria, because my wonderful family lives in Rende (Cosenza), where, so as not to miss anything, I also work as a craft beer entrepreneur. Furthermore, I have not abandoned TV: it amuses me, even though I have no ambitions to become, for example, an actor and knowing, as a good realist I am, that sooner or later the game will end. So I also divide myself between the television studios in Rome and Milan, where the programs in which I go as a guest are recorded.
Vitiligo is back after The Island of the Famous
After all, the vitiligo has reappeared on the occasion of my participation in the reality show The Island of the Famous 13, two years ago, so much so that upon returning to Italy the dermatologist who follows me wanted to beat me. That in Honduras was a tough experience, which at first I underestimated. After a month without my family I was on the verge of collapsing, but fortunately the other competitors supported me, such as Bianca Atzei, Alessia Mancini, Nino Formicola and Jonathan Kashanian. In short, it stress, with which Vitiligo travels hand in hand, is always lurking.
Amaurys Pérez: “My antistress is my wife Angela”
For this reason, apart from the dermatologist, I am fortunate to have a very special psychologist available every day: my wife Angela. It is she, the woman who gave me three wonderful children, to make a difference in my life. Also crucial in helping me fight tension and anxiety. “Don’t worry, breathe, sit back and relax,” he approaches me in moments of greatest disturbance. “Let’s start talking about something else.” Other times he convinces me to take a jog to release the nervousness. On skin disease, in particular, he always recommends to me: “Don’t look at the spots, forget them, because the more you look at them, the more paranoid you get.” And he’s right, his advice always works. I have a really beautiful stress reliever wife!
Amaurys perez (testimony collected by Marco Ronchetto)