The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

My elder son Jade Luccas has a birthmark/port wine stain on his cheek. When he was born, the doctor told me don’t worry and it will disappear with time. At the age of one, I took him to a very well-known doctor in Beirut. He also assured me that it will disappear max by the age of 7 years. I denied it and was relaxed.

At the age of 3, Jade started his first year at school and took a napkin and started to rub it and told me, “Why is my cheek red!! I’m trying to remove it. It’s not working!!!” That day I was shocked and couldn’t stand looking at him doing nothing. I blamed myself and decided to do something after he recognized that he has a birthmark. Some of his classmates started to ask him What is that? Are u colored? Are u burned? Does it hurt your body? Actually when he runs or has high fever or do sports, it becomes red and purple.When he’s relaxed or sleeping, it becomes pink.

I decided to travel to Paris to St Louis Hospital. There, the doctor told me it’s a port wine stain. It will never disappear totally but we can do some laser sessions. He couldn’t assure me that it would work, and if it did work it still wouldn’t disappear totally. So I had to decide whether to do the lasers and of course he will feel pain or to accept it and love it and teach him how to love it or worst case scenario put on some makeup. I came back to Beirut disappointed and of course was confused about what to do.

Then I decided to love it and accept it and started to teach him that it’s an angel kiss and that God chose him to be special and lucky. I started to talk to everyone about it and explain. I even asked his teachers to talk about it in the class and about differences. I wanted to protect him from ignorant people and from bullying. I wanted him to be strong to face his problems alone and have a self esteem. Now when we go out as a family, we color our cheeks with red to show him that we are very proud of him and we are not shy. Of course we don’t care about people’s reactions.

This year he’s changing his school, so I have to start from the beginning to explain what it is for his new classmates and new teachers. We are also in the process of writing a story for him and it will be published this summer. Everyone has his story and we decided to share it with everyone to spread awareness.

Jade Luccas now is 5 years old (2016). He loves his birthmark and he’s convinced that he’s special. But we never know what the future is holding for us. Someone might discover a medication or find the cause. Until then, it is now my job is to protect him from people’s reactions and from bullying and also to research about new techniques and new studies. #wesupportbirthmarks