The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

Let me take you back… Back to my childhood when all was lost and time seemed to never move. I was born in New Hampshire, but raised in Connecticut. I was born with a port wine stain, but as a toddler, I called it my birthmarker.

Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of friends. My mother was and still is my best friend. I had trouble accepting my birthmark. I always kept my head down as if all my answers were there. I was bullied in school to the point that my principal in elementary tried to cover my birthmark with make up! The hardest part was the depression, the tears, the reflection in the mirror. A good day consisted of name calling or silent stares across the classroom. Either I was a freak or I was getting jumped.

As I got older, I started to see things differently. I found the answers I was looking for within myself. I realized my birthmark was more apart of me than the name given to me at birth. Because of my PWS, I started to create such confidence and bravery. I no longer felt down or depressed. I felt alive, happy, like I opened my eyes for the first time.

I started writing poetry, as if words just poured from my hands. I started making friends; I changed my life around. All I had to do was find myself.

I started writing music, which I seemed to be really good at!

I became the person I dreamed of, and I inspired everyone around me.

I started a Facebook page called Port Wine & Proud to help guide, inspire, and build confidence in others with PWS.

It also became a community-based organization where I help the less fortunate, from school supplies for the youth to clothes for the homeless.

So when you’re lost, hurt, and can’t find your way, don’t give up!

Be strong, brave, confident. Be Port Wine & Proud.

Here is a link to my song called “Story Time” that I wrote and sing

Here is a link to my Facebook page Port Wine & Proud.

Here’s a link to an article about Eric’s charity work

Donate to the VBF 125K Campaign