Vitiligo Support International Inc. (VSI) is a patient driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering a comprehensive resource of vitiligo education, research and awareness for those whose lives have been affected by vitiligo.

We are here to address your questions and concerns and help you connect with our community. You will find the hope, support and healing that can only be offered by those who understand best - those who have walked in your shoes.


Vitiligo Support International

2008 National Conference

in historic

An informative, interactive and social weekend for people
with vitiligo, their families and other interested participants.

Friday to Sunday,
July 11-13, 2008
(at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel)


Cancellations sometimes occur.
If you would still like to attend, 
contact us


San Antonio has just about any attraction or activity that you could want, from historical sights and authentic culture to pro sports and modern theme parks. Home to not only the Alamo, but also to four other Spanish missions, San Antonio is infused with the history and traditions of the past. The River Walk, also known as the Paseo del Rio, provides relaxing entertainment as it meanders through a truly cosmopolitan city. Take a stroll along the river that winds through the center of downtown, and stop in shops and restaurants along the way.

VSI 2008 National Conference
Proudly Sponsored By
Contact VSI for information about sponsorship opportunities!

 Gold Sponsor

The Daavlin Company


 Gold Sponsor

Stiefel Laboratories, Inc.

Silver Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

The Vitiligo Melanoma


Amjo Corp.

The Daavlin Company

Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics

NuCara Compounding Pharmacy
Makers of Monobenzone and Pseudocatalase



Crown Laboratories
Makers of “Blue Lizard” a high intensity, chemical free sunscreen

G2 Graphics

JSJ Pharmaceutics
Makers of Oxsoralen-Ultra

Leopoldo F. Montes, M.D.
Author of 'VITILIGO: Current Knowledge & Nutritional Therapy'


Pharmaceutical Specialties
Makers of “Free and Clear” a complete line of chemical free personal products

The Walt Disney Company

Keynote Speaker: Lee Thomas
Fox News Reporter and Author,
'Turning White: A Memoir of Change'

In his thought provoking memoir, 'Turning White: A Memoir of Change', Emmy Award-winning TV broadcaster Lee Thomas shares the physical and mental battle he is waging with vitiligo — a skin disorder that is literally turning him white. At age 25, Thomas had a dream job in a dream city — a feature/entertainment reporter for the ABC network’s flagship TV station in New York. Then he discovered a few white spots on his scalp, the small beginnings of a disease that has spread to half his face — a fact he covers with makeup when on camera. As someone in the public eye, vitiligo has transformed not only Thomas’ color, but his life. “Even people who have known me for years avoid eye contact when they see my face without makeup for the first time.” 

Featured Speakers:


Harvey Lui, M.D., FRCPC
Medical Director, The Skin Care Centre;
Head of the Department of
Dermatology and Skin Science,
University of British Columbia
Topic: "Vitiligo Treatments Including Depigmentation and Children's Therapies"


Amit G. Pandya, M.D.
Professor of Dermatology,
University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center
Director, Clinical Studies section,
Department of Dermatology 
Topic: "Vitiligo Treatments Including Transplant Therapies and 308 Excimer light"

Richard A. Spritz, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics & Director
of the Human Medical Genetics Program
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Denver, Colorado
Topic: "Breakthroughs in the
Genetics of Vitiligo"

Margherita T. Cantorna, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Molecular Immunology,
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical
Sciences, Center for Molecular Immunology
and Infectious Diseases
Pennsylvania State University
Topic: "Potential Links Between Nutrition, Vitamin D, and Autoimmune Disease"

Caroline Le Poole, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pathology,
Microbiology and Immunology,
Loyola University Medical Center
Chicago, Illinois
Topic: “Stress Induced Depigmentation”

Beverly H. Robinson,
Associate Dean for Graduate Nursing
Program & Director of Doctoral Studies
Professor, UTHSCSA School of Nursing
San Antonio, Texas
Topic: "Living with Vitiligo: Maintaining Your Self Esteem”

Terry Robertson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education
Trinity University
San Antonio, Texas
Leading our Children's Educational Session


Read actual comments from past conferences


  Sheraton Gunter Hotel
205 East Houston Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Hotel Phone: (210) 227-3241

Room Reservations:


or call (888) 999-2089 and mention our conference


Embrace history and timeless design at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel San Antonio. Located in the heart of downtown, the hotel places you in the middle of all that is San Antonio. The Majestic Theater and the world-famous Riverwalk are just across the street. We have a significantly reduced room rate for this conference of $149 per night ($74.50 each, if sharing) plus tax.  Room reservations are handled individually by attendees directly on the special hotel VSI website or by calling (888) 999-2089.  Be sure to mention our conference date and Vitiligo Support.

Please reserve your rooms as soon as possible.  Rooms may be reserved at this special rate until June 19, 2008.  Discounted rooms may be available after that date, but cannot be guaranteed.  If you wish to come in a few days early, or stay a few days later, the hotel will honor our special rate from July 7 through 18 on a space available basis.  Your credit card will hold your reservation and you may cancel up to 24 hours in advance with no charge.   Your card will not be charged until you check in.


If you need a roommate to share the cost just go to our
"National Conference Message Board"
and post a message!

Should you have any questions or problems with reservations, please use this link to  CONTACT US .


REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  The Registration Deadline is July 2, 2008, however the hotel cannot guarantee room availability after  June 19, 2008.  We recommend registering for the conference and reserving your rooms at the hotel prior to June 19.           

CONFERENCE DATES AND LOCATION:  Friday through Sunday, July 11-13, 2008.  San Antonio, Texas at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel.  Main conference educational programs: Friday afternoon/evening and all day Saturday.

MAIN PROGRAM: Featuring physicians and other experts in vitiligo treatments, pathology, new research, autoimmune diseases, and more.  Guests will include noted physicians and researchers.  Special presentations, breakout sessions, demonstrations, Q and A panel discussions.  Exhibitors will include demonstrations, products and services of interest to the vitiligo community.     

CONFERENCE FEE: Registration fee is $145 per adult which includes all programs, meals and materials.   $85 for children ages 5 to 12.    

Registration includes Friday afternoon program followed by a reception (light buffet dinner), Saturday morning breakfast, Saturday speakers, presentations, demonstrations, exhibits, activities and all materials, lunch and children's program.  Also included is Saturday evening's celebration dinner, raffle and entertainment.  Those who wish may purchase discount Sunday brunch vouchers and then explore San Antonio, the Alamo and other area attractions.  The conference registration fee does not include your hotel stay.

Conference registration is processed through secure, encrypted pages (https). Payments with Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express may be made directly through our secure registration page .  Checks and money orders will also be accepted as long as they are received within ten days of registration, but no later than June 19, 2008.  If registration cancellation is necessary, 100% refunds are available until June 1, 2008.  From June 2 through June 15, 50% refund is available.  After June 16, refunds are not available.  If you have problems with processing your payment online, or if you have questions about the conference, please use our CONTACT US page to email us if you have any problem with registration.  

MEALS:  Most meals are included with your registration including Friday reception buffet, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, coffee breaks, and a delicious Saturday evening celebration dinner.  Discount Sunday brunch vouchers are optional and are $15 in advance and include tax and gratuity.    

AND FUN TOO! There is no greater enjoyment and healing than that found by meeting and socializing with other people dealing with vitiligo, just like you. Sharing experiences, information, support and fun is what Vitiligo Support International is all about. For that reason, there will be many opportunities during the weekend to enjoy each others' company in a casual, comfortable environment. There is plenty of time to socialize and share support with other attendees on all three days of the conference.

FAMILIES/SPOUSES/SIGNIFICANT OTHERS  Feel free to bring them!  The conference is a LOT of fun even for people who don't have vitiligo!  And given the wonderful historic attractions, The Alamo, River Walk, entertainment and shopping, there is plenty for everyone to do!  Unfortunately, due to costs, only the adults and children who have registered for the events may participate. All of our sessions will be set up to accommodate registered attendees and a VSI registration badge will be required to enter any/all receptions, sessions and meals. We appreciate your understanding and respect of this policy.   

THE HOTEL AND ROOM RATE:  See above information about the Hotel and our significantly reduced room rate.

NEED A ROOMMATE / OTHER QUESTIONS? Go to our 2008 NATIONAL CONFERENCE MESSAGE BOARD   where you can talk about the conference, find roommates and travel partners, ask questions, and plan activities.  


BY AIR: San Antonio International Airport is eight miles to the north of central San Antonio on US 281. This modern airport handles both international and domestic flights and is served by many major domestic and international airlines from cities all over the US and selected overseas destinations.

Don't forget to make travel plans through iGive
and support VSI on your way to what will be a
GREAT conference!

Conference Travel through iGive
 Travelocity, Expedia & Expedia Canada, Thrifty Rental Cars,
United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Vacations,
Enterprise Rental Cars, and Cheap Tickets.

: San Antonio is easy to get to by car, with interstate and state highways coming in from all directions. Four interstates (I-35, I-10, I-37 and I-410) feed San Antonio: with I-10 coming in from the northwest (Los Angeles) and from the east (Houston); I-35 coming in from Dallas and Austin in the north and I-37 coming in from the southeast (Corpus Christi).

BY RAIL: Daily Amtrak trains run to San Antonio from Chicago, via St Louis, Little Rock, Forth Worth, Dallas and Austin. There is also a thrice weekly service which runs from Los Angeles in the west through San Antonio and onto Orlando in the east, going via Houston, Lafayette and New Orleans. In San Antonio, trains leave from the depot at 350 Hoefden Street.

TRANSPORTATION AND DIRECTIONS:  The Sheraton Gunter is located at 205 E. Houston Street, near the Alamo and just a few. minutes from the River Walk.  We recommend using for specific driving directions from your home or the airport.

CHILDREN:  VSI regrets that due to our insurance and liability, we are  unable to provide services for children under the age of 5. If your child will not be 5 years old by July 9 2008, they will need to wait until next year to participate. We appreciate your respect of this policy.

Children under the age of 12 will not be permitted in the conference lecture room. However, if you have a child over the age of 12 who would prefer to participate in the children's program, that's fine, but we must have their names in advance as all activities and supplies must be ordered in advance.

CHILDREN'S PROGRAM: On Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, we'll have a special supervised program for kids 5 to 12 so parents can enjoy the conference. This year our children will have their own educational session led by Dr. Terry Robertson, Associate Professor of Education at Trinity University.  Dr Robertson is a Licensed school psychologist with experience in schools and private practice assessing children, adolescents, and adults; has worked with community agencies, hospitals, and universities in a variety of areas of psychology and has also been a teacher.

In the morning session Dr Robertson will promote discussion and peer support around age appropriate topics specific to vitiligo. The children will have a fun time while talking with each other about common challenges and solutions. The afternoon promises to be more exciting than ever as the children will be treated to a very popular children’s museum in San Antonio.

WEATHER/CLOTHING  Summer in San Antonio is usually quite warm, if not hot.  We recommend light, cotton clothing.   You may want to bring a light jacket or sweater and some long pants as the conference meeting rooms are air conditioned.  Regardless, our conference is casual, so feel free to dress comfortably.  Shorts and short-sleeve shirts are perfectly acceptable.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Further information and details will be emailed to all attendees prior to the conference.


Questions?  Contact us!


(Educational sessions are highlighted in blue)

Thursday, July 10,  2008

7:00pm: Informal get together for early arrivals.  More information to be announced.

Friday, July 11,  2008

: Plan to arrive at hotel.

1:00pm: Registration begins (Crystal Foyer) followed by opening educational sessions in the Crystal Ballroom

3:00pmEducational Session: Amit G. Pandya, M.D. - "Vitiligo Treatments Including Transplant Therapies and 308 Excimer light" (followed by Q&A)

4:00pm: Educational Session: Margherita T. Cantorna, Ph.D. - "Potential Links Between Nutrition, Vitamin D, and Autoimmune Disease" (followed by Q&A)

4:45pm: 15 minute break

5:00pm: One Hour Breakout Sessions (separate sessions on specific topics of interest)

1.     Poetry and Prayer
2.     Depigmentation
3.     Treatment options from those who have used them
4.     African Americans: Living with Vitiligo

6:00pm - 7:00pm: ** Lee Thomas Book Signing **

7:30pm: Reception - Light buffet dinner (Blue Bonnet/Magnolia Room)

Saturday, July 12, 2008 (Main Conference Presentation)

7:30am - 9:00am: Breakfast buffet and continuing registration.  All attendees will be provided a hanging type name tag which must be worn throughout the conference (Crystal Foyer, Blue Bonnet and Magnolia Rooms)

9:00am - 5:00pm
: View exhibitor tables/products/demonstrations, social time with attendees, speakers, special guests and Vitiligo Support staff (Gunter Terrace)

9:00am - 11:45am
: Educational Sessions  (Crystal Ballroom)

11:45am - 1:30pm: Lunch (Blue Bonnet and Magnolia Room)

1:30pm - 4:00pm
: Educational Sessions  (Crystal Ballroom)

4:00pm - 5:00pm: Question and Answer Panel (Crystal Ballroom)

7:00pm-11:00pm: Celebration Dinner, entertainment, raffle (Crystal Ballroom).  
Dress: "casual elegance" 

Sunday, July 13, 2008: Brunch and Day at Leisure

7:00am: Hotel brunch (discounted price of $15.00 when purchased with registration).

All day: Following brunch, join us for an exciting OPTIONAL private tour of the Spanish Missions and the Alamo, created especially for us.  This is a separate signup through the tour operator.   Click to visit the tour page!

Note:  While every effort will be made to follow the above schedule, all of the above programs and activities are subject to change, substitution or cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances.  


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