Tell Your Story
Share Your Story and Raise Awareness
How did you become involved with VBF? Why do you feel it’s important to raise awareness for vascular birthmarks and the related syndromes? Please share your story with us. Please share your photos and story with VBF at our contact page
My name is Melissa A. Freeman. I am 36 yrs. Old. I have a Venous Vascular Malformation on the right side of my face. This has been with me all of my life; however, it did not really start showing up until I was about 2 or 3 years old.
Skip ahead to 1987. This is the year I met Dr. Alex Berenstein thanks to God and a friend of mine who was a doctor at the time in NYC. His name was Dr. Sam Gandy. I had a sclerotherapy treatment then when Dr. B was at NYU Medical Center. The first procedure went well, but they were not able to get everything. About 10 yrs later, I found myself in Charleston, SC at MUSC for embolizations. I made about 4 trips down there, but the procedures did not seem to do the trick. Last year, I returned to Charleston to have a tooth looked at in a hospital setting. It was determined that the tooth could not safely be removed until the vascular malformation was addressed first. Dr. Turk referred me back to NYC to Dr. Alex Berenstein.
late October, I traveled up to NYC to have the first of several sclerotherapy
procedures at St. Lukes-Roosevelt under the supervision of Dr. Alex
Berenstein. I returned in February to have a second treatment. On March
24th, I had my last sclerotherapy session with Dr. Berenstein and on
the 26th, and Dr. Milton Waner did a debulking process. I am now at
home and recovering from those two surgical procedures. In about three
or four months, after I heal completely, I will make another trip to
NYC and undergo reconstructional surgery under Dr. Gregory Levitin's
care. I thank God for these doctors and their team. I truly believe
He used them as His instruments in His great plan for me. I do not know
what that plan is yet, but I trust the Lord with all of my heart, and
because I do, I know I do not have to fear the surgery that lies ahead.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
VBF has networked over 35,000 children and adults into treatment
Tyler Salvador and his twin sister, Shaine.