LATHAM, NY, August 10, 2023 — The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF) along with the organizers of the Purple Polka Dot Race (PPDR) announce the 8th Annual PPDR, taking place on Sunday, August 13, 2023, at Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township, Michigan. The annual event is attracting more than 760 people from around the country with more than 30 states represented.
The PPDR was created in 2016 after Jody Lee of Lake Orion, Michigan, and her family attended a VBF Conference. Their daughter, Meghana, was given an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan, and entered a supportive birthmark community.
“The PPDR team continues to be humbled by the support and love we are receiving for the VBF and vascular birthmarks community,” said Jody Lee. “We are honored to be able to fundraise for the families of the VBF and will continue to focus on education and awareness throughout the community.”
Named after the “purple polka dots” associated with a Port Wine Stain (PWS) after laser treatments, the race is one of the largest charity runs in the country for families affected by vascular birthmarks. Proceeds go to the VBF to ensure families receive fair and equal access to an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for all vascular birthmarks, anomalies, and/or related syndromes (VBARS).
This year’s race will include opportunities to learn more about vascular birthmarks and VBF. Races begin at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the morning. While virtual options are sold out, interested participants can still register to attend in-person until August 13 by visiting: https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/ShelbyTwp/PurplePolkaDotRaceMI
“Jody Lee and her family have brought awareness of vascular birthmarks to thousands of people,” said Linda Rozell-Shannon, Ph.D., President and Founder of VBF. “Through her work with the PPDR this year alone, we are able to send about 40 families to our annual Conference and Super Clinic for free, and raise awareness for families in Michigan and beyond.”
In addition, the Purple Polka Dot Race has expanded with a team from Pennsylvania organizing a local event on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at Cassel Vineyards of Hershey. This expansion allows PPDR supporters from Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas to experience an in-person PPDR event. The PAPPDR is only an in-person event. Learn more here: https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/Hummelstown/PennsyvanaPurlplePolkaDotRace
Donations can also be made directly to the VBF by visiting: https://birthmark.org/ppdr/
About the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation:
The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF) is an international charitable organization that networks families affected by a vascular birthmark, anomaly, or related syndrome to the appropriate medical professionals for evaluation and/or treatment, provides informational resources as well as sponsors physician education, mobilizes medical missions, and supports research and programs that promote acceptance for individuals with vascular birthmarks. VBF has networked thousands of children and adults into treatment since 1994. Established in 1994, by Founder and President, Linda Rozell-Shannon, Ph.D., VBF is the leading vascular birthmarks foundation in the world for patient education. For more information about vascular birthmarks, tumors or related anomalies and treatment options, please visit www.birthmark.org
About the Purple Polka Dot Race
On March 4, 2015, the Lee family welcomed their daughter, Meghana, into the world. She arrived perfect–10 fingers, 10 toes and a special birthmark on her cheek and chin. Months later they found out that her birthmark was something called a Port Wine Stain (PWS)–a kind of vascular birthmark, and immediately started their search for answers. They came across the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF), which provided the Lee family with answers and a sense of community and support system unlike any other. Meghana currently receives laser treatments for her PWS, which cause her to have temporary purple polka dots on her face. The mission of the Purple Polka Dot Race (PPDR) is to raise awareness, encourage acceptance for all those out there who are also sporting their very own “purple polka dots”, and educate everyone about all things related to vascular birthmarks. All of the funds raised by the PPDR go directly to the VBF. For more information about PPDR, please visit https://purplepolkadotrace.com/
Marketing & Communications Manager