A mom who gave birth to twins – one black and one an albino – says people don’t believe both are hers because of her daughter’s different skin colour.
Judith Nwokocha from Calgary in Canada admits she was surprised when she gave birth to a black boy Kamsi, and an albino girl Kachi, in 2016.
The 38-year-old photographer struggled for eight years to fall pregnant but was successful after trying in vitro fertilisation.
“I went for a scan and it revealed I was having twins. I was also told they might have Down syndrome.”
“I remember doctors telling me she might not make it, but I’m so grateful that she did,” says the mom of two.
But when she finally gave birth she thought she was given the wrong baby.
“I was shocked when they gave me my babies. I kept wondering ‘What are they doing? Why are they giving me someone else’s baby?’ I didn’t believe she was mine because we don’t have anyone with albinism in my family, nor my husband’s, so it never crossed my mind.”
Despite this, Judith was just relieved that she had two perfectly healthy babies.
“Other than her skin colour, she looks exactly like me.”
Kachi was diagnosed with Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA) type 2 – an inherited condition where people don’t produce sufficient melanin (pigment) and this affects their eyes, skin and hair.
One in every four children has a chance of being affected when both parents are carriers of the albinism gene.
Judith said she was initially concerned about how people would react to Kachi’s albinism. But apart from sensitive skin and eyesight, her daughter is perfectly healthy.
The doting mom, who’s originally from Nigeria, says there are quite a few superstitions regarding albinos in her country of birth which was another reason she was worried.
“Where I come from minorities are mistreated so I’m grateful I live in a western country. But I was still worried about what people were going to say, how Kachi would be perceived by society and how people would treat her,” Judith says.
She adds that many people don’t believe Kachi is her daughter and some have even asked her who the girl’s parents are.
“Most people don’t believe they’re twins. It’s not only her skin colour but also the texture of her hair that confuses them.”
“People have asked me: ‘Where are her [Kachi] parents?’ Then I can clearly see how shocked they are when I tell them that I am her mom.”
Luckily Judith has never gotten a negative reaction or remark from anyone. People always tell her Kachi is beautiful.
Nothing can change the love and affection Judith has for her daughter. She even went for counselling to learn how to take care of her.
“Her eyesight is quite sensitive and she needs to see a specialist every six months. She also can’t be in the sun for too long or her skin will get burned.”
The twins, who are now three years old, have a great brother-sister relationship and their mom says they haven’t noticed anything different about each other.