Laura Vordemann,

Student

My name is Laura. I am 20-years old. My story is probably not a big contribution to this cause, but I was so touched by all those brave people that I felt the need of writing mine down too.

I was born diagnosed with albinism. First the doctors thought I was blind, but it turned out that I was just visually impaired. Since then my loving mother has done her best to give me and my brother, who's got albinism too, an equal start in life.

I come from a country where you get a lot of support from the Government which is not common at all in the rest of the world. However, it was the feeling of being different and all that comes with it which made me struggle to find my place in this world.

Meet Laura Vordemann

Meet Laura Vordemann

Early life

"At the surface I was the happiest person, always down for a joke."

It all started when I went to school at the age of six. Suddenly I realized other classmates could see a huge amount better than I did. It embarrassed me to have a disability and I tried to hide it as much as I could. Therefore, I vehemently opposed everything that had to do with the Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Often I had fights with social workers that just couldn't get into their heads that an eight year old girl's biggest wish was to be "normal." At night, I dreamt I was cured or I had super powers that compensated my low vision.

The insecurity in me grew as I got older. Soon I finished primary school and started my secondary education. It was the time of first teenage love. Of course I had a crush on boys in my class, but I never dared to think they could actually like me. I felt ugly and crippled. At the surface I was the happiest person, always down for a joke. It wasn't like I was an outsider. While all my friends started going out and having boyfriends I wished I had never been born. Once I told my mum I never wanted to have kids because of the possibility albinism would be given down to my children too.

Finding her way

As boys where not consuming my time, I had a lot of space for books and other hobbies. Going abroad was an idea which began to spread in my head. When I told my mum about it she totally supported me to do an exchange year. This was one big turning point in my life. I realized that there were no boundaries to hold me back. All the boundaries only existed inside my head and were made up in my mind. I realized that my disability, that albinism wasn't this big of a deal but I, myself, made it a big deal.

It took over fifteen years to understand that it doesn´t matter whether people were staring or laughing. As long as you feel comfortable with yourself and you say yes to life, you'll find your way naturally.

Laura Vordemann and her brother Laura and her brother