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1994 - 2015
Celebrating 21 years with
90,000 networked into treatment

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder
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The Frank Catalanotto Perseverance Scholarship

Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF)

Frank Catalanotto Scholarship Program

Deadline July 1


Scholarships are closed for 2016! Please visit next year to apply.


Evan Ducker receives scholarship
Dr. Linda, Frank Catalanotto, Evan Ducker (2013 recipient), Barbara and Morgan Catalanotto


VBF is an international charitable organization that networks families affected by a vascular birthmark, tumor, or syndrome to the appropriate medical professionals for evaluation and/or treatment, provides informational resources as well as sponsors physician education, mobilizes medical missions trips, and supports research and programs that promote acceptance for individuals with birthmarks.


VBF accomplishes its mission through research, education and advocacy on the international, national, state and community levels. Since its inception in 1994, VBF has successfully networked thousands of children and adults into treatment, sponsored significant research, educated physicians and affected family members about the diagnosis and treatment of vascular birthmarks and has established chapters all over the world.


VBF is pleased to announce the Frank Catalanotto Perseverance Scholarship which honors VBF’s co-chair Frank Catalanotto, and his wife Barbara, for their tireless efforts to raise awareness and funds for VBF. This award also recognizes Frank’s accomplishment as a Major League Baseball Player, as the father of a child who had a vascular birthmark and was helped by VBF, and as the author of a book which chronicles his journey in baseball and in life, entitled, “Heart and Hustle.” Frank’s book details his dream to play in the big leagues, and how it all came true. It is also about the importance of persistence, tenacity, and perseverance for any child told that he or she is not good enough, was left behind, or was excluded from some team, club, or group. VBF believes that there are a lot of young men and women out there who share a similar story because of the fact that they are living with a vascular birthmark. We want to acknowledge these young men and women with the Frank Catalanotto Perseverance Scholarship. GPA is not a prerequisite, nor is an extensive list of accomplishments. However, they must demonstrate that through their living with a vascular birthmark they have had both the “heart and the hustle” qualities of life.


Scholarships will be limited to one $1,000 scholarship. The VBF Board of Directors Scholarship Committee will evaluate each of the applicants and make a decision prior to July 1st. No former recipients are eligible for a subsequent scholarship.


There is also a “pay it forward” component to this award. All recipients will be required to conduct an “awareness” event along with a mini fund raising event for VBF within one year of receiving the award.


The VBF board and staff are excited to be able to offer this program and support the efforts and dedication of students who have chosen to pursue higher education.



  • Applicant must be enrolled or anticipate enrollment as a full time student in an undergraduate or graduate degree program (freshman or greater status) and have a birthmark and provide documentation of their birthmark, if it is not visible.


  • Applicant must be a US citizen or legal resident living in the US and enrolled in an accredited United States university.


  • Preference will be given to students majoring in public health, disability studies, disability research, health promotion or a field related to disability and health.


  • Applicant will be required to conduct a Day of Awareness campaign on their college campus to advocate and raise funds for VBF. Suggestions are available, click here.




  • Applicant must provide a Personal Statement (maximum of 800 words, double spaced), including brief personal history about life with a birthmark, educational/career goals, extra-curricular activities, and reasons why they should be selected by the VBF Scholarship Committee. This statement must be written solely by the applicant.


  • Applicant must provide two (2) Letters of Recommendation (One must be from a teacher or academic advisor). Letters may be sent by U. S. mail or by email attachment as pdf and should include the signature of the teacher or advisor, and the name of student should appear in the subject line of the email.


  • Applicant must provide an official copy of high school/college transcript, which can be emailed as a PDF with application.


  • Applicant must agree to allow VBF to use their name, picture and/or story in future scholarship materials.


  • Photograph of birthmark must accompany application (one JPEG).


Please attach your application, supporting materials, etc. and email to: Dr. Linda Rozell- Shannon, VBF President, Place “2016-17 Catalanotto Scholarship” in subject line. (Please use MS Word for your personal statement and MS Word, if at all possible, and/or PDF for all other documents that are emailed as attachments). If this is not possible, please mail documents to:


Scholarship Committee
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation
PO Box 106
Latham, NY 12110


Only completed applications will be considered and must be postmarked and/or received by email no later than July 1.