Transcript for Albinism: Caught Between Dark and Light
Our groundbreaking story about children born with
albinism touched millions of you and generated a flood of concern.
ELIZABETH VARGAS, ABC NEWS
(OC) In a culture where beauty can determine everything from who loves
you to who hires you, what hope do these children have for a normal life?
Tonight, you'll see as Juju Chang brings us an amazing new chapter in the
lives of people born too light.
My name is Kenyen Flowers. I'm 10 years old and I live in Illinois.
And I'm his twin brother, Khari.
(VO) You can just imagine the great surprise that met Kenyen and Khari's
birth. They are fraternal twins, born only 25 minutes apart. But Kenyen
has albinism, so in many ways, it separates him from his brother by an
My family's skin color, probably like chocolate. To me, when people say
what color are you is, I say banana and vanilla mixed, bavilla.
(OC) Would you ever wanna be brown?
I don't know if I look good in brown. I don't really know.
(VO) Kenyen says he remembers clearly the first time he noticed the
vanilla-chocolate difference between him and his family.
I was with my mom when she was carrying me. I saw my arm. I, I was
holding onto her.
(OC) And what did you think?
(VO) A typical response when anyone sees Kenyan with his family for the
first time. Because of his albinism, Kenyan's body produces little or no
pigment in the skin, eyes and hair. Two recessive genes are the culprits,
one from each parent. Albinism cuts across the animal kingdom, and in
humans is found in every ethnicity in every corner of the world. For the
Flowers family, they're constantly reminded that one of them is not quite
like the others.
GLENN FLOWERS, KENYEN'S FATHER
When Kenyen, I think he was maybe 2, we were in a store and he picked up
a toy he wanted. I said no toys. I put it back. There was an older lady
shopping, watching me. And then I see security coming. And this lady's
like, 'This black man is trying to take this little white boy outside."
The security guy come up, he's like, 'Put the little boy down." I'm like,
'This is my son." 'Well, you got proof he's your son?" 'No, that's my
wife, there's my other son. You touch me, you leave me alone, or I'm
gonna tear this whole store apart."
When people ask questions like, are you really his brother? It makes me
feel nauseous. Like, I don't think I wanna answer to that, 'cause I'm, I
am his brother. It's that I'm lighter and then they, and they don't
Come on, boys.
I heard people call him albino, a freak, idiot, retard, all kind of
names. When I hear those name, I just fight back and say, what happens if
you were him?
(VO) In spite of their differences, or perhaps because of them, Kenyen
and Khari have a unique bond.
Hey. He's awesome, cool, good brother to have. And, and the most of
all, he's the best.
Kenyen and I are like, as close as glue on paper. Sometimes, I think
he's the second part of my heart.
(VO) At just 10 years old, these boys have already learned about the
importance of looks and the shortage of tolerance. Kenyen's albinism does
set him apart from most 10-year-olds because he's legally blind.
I kind of wish I could see better 'cause I can't see people from far
away, 'cause I think they just disappeared.
(VO) Khari has become his brother's keeper because of it.
Usually, when he follows me into the park, I have to watch him in the
street and also when he's at school. Crying, I had to go see what's wrong
and, and whoever hurt his feelings, here comes me.
I pledge allegiance to the flag.
(VO) Kenyen is the first student with albinism to ever attend his
Who knows how to spell (inaudible) now?
(VO) To help things along, the school purchased special equipment to
help him see the material.
Make sure you indent all of your work, your very first sentence.
(VO) He also has an aide by his side the whole day to make sure he
absorbs the lesson plan. Altogether, there are eight specialists who work
with Kenyen over the course of a week. But once recess comes around, the
divide between the Flowers brothers becomes more dramatic. Khari, the
athlete, is outside playing football. Kenyen's vision makes sports tough,
so he and his friends have completely different plans, lunch bunch.
KENYEN'S FRIEND, FEMALE
It's a thing where we just talk, and it's like, more quieter than there.
It's just - sometimes where we talk.
The very small things.
...we eat lunch together.
Confessional with food.
What are we gonna talk about?
(VO) The most popular topic these days, Kenyen's racial identity.
About albinism, have you ever, like, what have you said to them, like,
why are you white instead of black? What have you, like, said to them?
It's because I have albinism. I can tell you about it, but just don't
call me white again, 'cause I am not. I'm black. Some people call me
pale, which I'm not.
And I know, with you, Kenyen, you may look like - look like white, but
almost like you, you look in the shadow and at your skin, it might almost
look like, almost like a little bit, almost like a regular person's skin a
He is a regular person, though.
(VO) Finding acceptance with friends is hard. But there's something
else Kenyen finds even more challenging.
Having a love life for me, it's hard. Really hard and harsh. I like
girls and they said, I don't like you, I just like you as a friend. Maybe
they just think I'm not cute enough, which I am, but they just don't see
it. They'd rather see some guy who's big, gigantic strong, who play -
rather plays football, instead of just a kid with albinism and takes Tae
Kwon Do. It's really heartbreaking.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.