On May 18, 2016, our lives were changing once again for the better with the arrival of our second child, Hannah. In the operating room there seemed to be an uncertain wave that came across everyone after the doctor held her up. “Perhaps it was the way she was laying in the womb,” the doctor and nurses talked among themselves and us, regarding the red mark that was covering the right side of her beautiful face. All we saw was a perfect, healthy little girl. It wasn’t until the next day that her doctors told us that they believed her “red mark” was a Port Wine Stain. Whether they were uncertain of the correct term or they were too afraid to tell us the future potential complications, they didn’t go into too much detail.
We had never heard or seen anyone with a Port Wine Stain and it was at that moment that we decided we would learn everything we could and become our own expert. Through doctor appointments with numerous specialists and surgeons we have become so passionate about sharing what a Port Wine Stain is, with really anyone who will listen. Our dream is for Hannah to be able to go into public without anyone staring, pointing or whispering, because they understand what her birthmark is – it’s just a Port Wine Stain.
The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF) has been an amazing resource for our family and so many other families who have been impacted by a Vascular Birthmark. Through the VBF we have found the best doctor for our daughter’s treatments. To date, Hannah has undergone over two dozen laser treatments that started when she was six months old. After each treatment, temporary purple polka dots appear over the treated area, which is where the Purple Polka Dot race name comes from.
About the Purple Polka Dot Race – Cincinnati
Hannah’s mom, Stephanie, and her family are hosting the Purple Polka Dot Race – Cincy, now rescheduled to August 9, 2020 in West Chester, OH at the Voice of America Park. Inspired by Jody Lee and Meghana, founders of the PPD Race – Michigan that is now in its 5th year, Stephanie organized a 5K Run / Walk and Family Fun Run to honor Hannah’s journey and to raise awareness for vascular birthmarks and fundraise for VBF’s non-profit mission.
Race Rescheduling Update from Stephanie:
To our valued Purple Polka Dot – Cincinnati Participants,
It is with great consideration that we are converting our Purple Polka Dot – Cincinnati Race to a virtual race set to take place on Sunday, August 9th, 2020. After reviewing CDC guidelines and our local government recommendations, this decision was made to protect participants, staff members, volunteers and our overall community.
Our choice to convert to a virtual race may bring with it many questions, but first we would like to explain why this decision has been made. In unprecedented times like these, the best cure for fear and the unknown is the hope that comes with community. We believe our race continuing in a virtual fashion will allow you to connect with other participants in powerful ways. Our goal is to create something that you can still look forward to and participate in, while adhering to the local government recommendations for social distancing.
The Purple Polka Dot Race – Cincinnati team is working diligently on setting up the parameters in which this virtual event will take place. We will be in touch shortly with more information. In the meantime, please know your commitment to training and preparation is not something we take lightly. Our mission is to empower you to complete this race. All participants who signed up for the 5K Walk/Run will receive a Virtual Swag Bag which will be hand delivered by Hannah or will be mailed to our participants who live outside the Tri-State area.
I cannot express how much we sincerely appreciate your generosity and eagerness to participate in our race in order to help raise awareness for Hannah and others like her. Because of people like you, I know our first race, even if it is virtual, will be a huge success! We have been overwhelmed by everyone’s love and support and Hannah (and all of us) want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for supporting Hannah and the VBF!
If you have any questions or concerns, please call Stephanie at 513-378-9461 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best,
Your Purple Polka Dot – Cincinnati Team
For complete details about the PPD Race, or to make a gift, visit:
- Purple Polka Dot Race Cincinnati – Information Page
- PPD Cincy – Run Sign Up Portal
- PPD Cincy on Facebook
- Contact Stephanie and the PPD Cincy Team
Make a Gift in Hannah’s Honor
You can use this page to make a direct donation to the VBF in honor of Hannah and to support her family’s goal of raising awareness and funds for the VBF’s mission through the Purple Polka Dot Race in Cincinnati.
100% of donations will go towards VBF’s non-profit mission of serving the 1 in 10 born worldwide with all kinds of vascular birthmarks, anomalies and syndromes. All of the money raised from this page and the Purple Polka Dot Race will go directly to the VBF’s public mission. The 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.
Together, we can paint the country with purple polka dots to help realize Stephanie’s dream for Hannah by raising awareness worldwide so that everyone understands what her birthmark is – it’s just a Port Wine Stain.