James McLeod, from as young as he can remember was bullied for his appearance. People would look and stare, mainly because they were inquisitive and didn't understand his Vitiligo condition. James would simply look back at them and smile, counting the smiles he received in return would always boost his confidence.
At the age of 6 the bullying was relentless in school, with kids saying things like, "Do you have bleach on your face" , "You look like a freak" , "You're a monster".
Struggling with his self confidence, feeling alone and isolated, all James ever wanted was to be accepted, so he did what most kids were doing in his neighbourhood, and that was to sell drugs at the age of 13. This led to a 2 year sentence in a Juvenile Prison.
Things continued to spiral out of control, James continued down a difficult path of selling drugs and stealing in order to be accepted. For this he would serve a 5 year sentence leaving prison at the age of 29.
He had hit rock bottom and vowed to change his life. Starting work in a Sandwich shop to earn money, and work his way through the company. James slowly built his confidence, until one day he decided to write a book, helping to inspire other children to have confidence and push through their adversity.
This self taught author wrote the book, The Boy Behind the Face.
James now speaks to 1000's of kids sharing his amazing journey through adversity. He recalls the children he spoke to looking at him like a super hero. The boy behind the face was finally accepted.