Well I did it again. I made it in my hometown's newspaper again. This time Waners in it as well.
FYI they did not follow me to the gym or work. and he did not understand what I said about the monderator, it is the teen and youth section on VBF not a chat room.
Here is what it says:
Henry "Hank" Bartenbach isn't a celebrity, but last month, he said, he sure
felt like one.
He went to work; a camera crew followed.
He went to the gym; a camera crew followed.
Even in the few, brief moments of lucidity after a surgery to remove
portions of a port wine birthmark that covers a majority of his face, a
camera crew was there.
"I just barely remember them," said Bartenbach, a former Grand Island
resident. "I remember half a second of them being there, not much."
The camera crew that followed him around for two days in February was from
The Learning Channel and is following him as he goes through a new type of
treatment for the port wine birthmark with which he was born.
The treatment involves a series of surgeries on the parts of his face most
affected by the vascular birthmark -- his lip and eyebrow.
This isn't the first time Bartenbach has been somewhat of a celebrity. Last
year, he appeared on the Maury Povich show, an experience he wasn't too
happy with. In fact, the daytime talk show wanted to follow Hank around and
tape his surgeries. He declined, letting TLC follow him instead.
Since Bartenbach has several more surgeries to come, the next one scheduled
in August, there's no air date for the current project. However, since he is
part of five support groups for vascular birthmarks, as well as an Internet
advice guru and chat room moderator on the subject, he said he has a goal in
mind when the project finally airs.
"The biggest reason I did the TLC thing was to let people know there are
support groups out there," he said. "Most of the people on the sites are
parents with really little kids. I want people to know we're out there."
It's being "out there" that has really motivated him, said Marla Bartenbach,
his mother who lives in Grand Island. When Hank was born, the Internet
didn't exist and information on something as rare as port wine birthmarks
was hard to come by.
"We had an encyclopedia," she said. "We waited for years to find someone who
knew what the problem was. Now, there are kids being born and people are
being a lot more assertive in seeking help."
Bartenbach has his own advice section on the Vascular Birthmark Foundation's
Web site (www.birthmark.org
) called "Ask Hank," which has received inquiries
from all over the United States, Mexico, Europe and New Zealand. He's also
sharing his experiences with parents of children with vascular birthmarks
and adults who are living with the condition and are wondering what can be
In Bartenbach's case, what's being done is fairly new to the treatment of
vascular birthmarks. Dr. Milton Waner, an internationally known expert in
the treatment of the birthmarks, is performing the surgeries, and said
Bartenbach's case is interesting because the material that makes up the
birthmark contains a lot of blood. If someone isn't careful, massive blood
loss can come with removal of the material.
Each case is very different in dealing with vascular birthmarks, Waner said.
In Bartenbach's case, he had to be a little creative to develop a plan for
the surgeries, but it seems to be working out. During the first surgery he
lost only a few tablespoons of blood and Waner said the difference is
"We're dealing with difficult tissue. It's a very rich blood supply," Waner
said. "One has to tailor the surgery to the patient. One has to do a lot of
creative thinking and improvisation."
Waner said the surgeries will give Bartenbach a very different look when
complete, and that usually coincides with a different outlook on life. In
Bartenbach's case, the fact that he advocates so much is already a positive
The surgeries are exciting for Bartenbach, but he said he isn't thinking too
much about how they might help his appearance or he "wouldn't be able to
sleep at night." Instead, he continues to dispense as much information, both
medical and emotional, as he can to those dealing with vascular birthmarks.
And he continues to have camera crews following him around.
"It was kind of weird," he said. "I just hope it gives people more