Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Hemangiomas  |  Port Wine Stains  |  Vascular Malformations  
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1994 - 2015
Celebrating 21 years with
80,000 networked into treatment

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder
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Ask the VBF Experts

Dr. Stuart Nelson, VBF Co-Medical Director and International Port Wine Stain Laser Specialist
Dr. Nelson will answer your questions concerning the diagnosis and treatment of Port Wine Stains.


Dr. Gregory Levitin, Hemangioma and Malformations Surgeon, NYC and LA
Dr. Levitin will answer your questions regarding the surgical treatment of all vascular birthmarks and tumors.


Dr. Robert Rosen, Vascular Lesions of Arms and Legs Interventional Radiologist
Our expert for all non-brain AVMs and vascular lesions of the arms and legs, Dr. Rosen welcomes your questions.


Dr. Roy Geronemus, NYC and International Laser Specialist
If you have a question or concern about laser treatments in general, contact Dr. Geronemus.


Dr. Milton Waner, Hemangioma and Malformations Surgeon
Email Dr. Waner with questions regarding hemangiomas and other vascular lesions.


Dr. Aaron Fay, Hemangioma and Malformation Eye Surgeon
Dr. Fay will answer your questions about orbital birthmarks.


Corinne Barinaga, VBF Family Services Director
Corinne Barinaga, our Administrative Director, will answer emails concerning family advocacy, treatment questions, or physician referral.


Dr. Martin Mihm, VBF Co-Medical Director and Research Director
Dr. Mihm is coordinating and directing research regarding vascular birthmarks and tumors.


Dr. Darren Orbach, Pediatric Neurointerventionalist for AVMs and PHACE
VBF is proud to welcome Dr. Orbach!


Dr. Anne Comi, Sturge Weber Syndrome Specialist
One of the leading experts on Sturge Weber Syndrome, Dr. Comi will be responding to your questions concerning this syndrome.


Dr. Alex Berenstein, Malformations and AVM Interventional Radiologist
Ask Dr. Berenstein your questions regarding interventional radiology.


Dr. Kami Delfanian, KTS Treatment Specialist
Send your questions concerning KT Syndrome to Dr. Delfanian.


Dr. Barry Zide, NYC Hemangioma and Malformations Surgeon
If you have a question or concern about hemangioma and vascular malformation treatment in general, contact Dr. Zide.


Dr. Joseph Edmonds, Lymphatic Malformations Surgeon
Ask Dr. Edmonds your questions related to Lymphatic Malformations.


Anna Duarte, M.D., Florida Expert
Ask our expert Dr. Duarte, your questions about receiving treatment in Florida.


Dr. Orhan Konez, Interventional Radiologist
Questions regarding reading and interpreting films and treating malformations with sclerotherapy or embollization can be sent to Dr. Orhan Konez.


Dr. Steven Fishman, Internal Lesions Surgeon
Ask Dr. Fishman your questions about liver and other internal vascular lesions.


Rafael Ortiz, MD, Neuro-endovascular Surgeon
Ask Dr. Ortiz your questions about vascular tumors of the head and neck region, cerebral and spinal arteriovenous malformations, treatment of craniofacial vascular lesions (venous, lymphatic, AVMs, hemangiomas) in adults and children.


Dr. Calil, Lymphatic Malformation Surgeon
Dr. Calil will answer your questions about Lymphatic Malformations.


Elissa-Uretsky Rifkin, M.Ed. CMHC Midwest Developmental Specialist
A trained developmental specialist and is on the board of VBF. Send questions concerning hemangiomas and this topic to Elissa.


Dr. Stavros Tombris, European Surgeon
Fr. Tombris treats all forms of hemangomas, port wine stains and malformations.


Dr. Stevan Thompson, Military (Tricare) Surgeon
Dr. Stevan Thompson has joined us to answer questions concerning the treatment of vascular birthmarks in the military.


Dr. Helen Figge, Pharmacist
If you or your child has a vascular birthmark and you have a question regarding a prescription drug, please ask Doc Helen Figge.


Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, VBF President and Founder
Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon is the leading lay expert in the world on the subject of vascular birthmarks.


Lex Van der Heijden, CMTC Foundation
If you or your child has CMTC, please contact Lex with your questions.


Leslie Graff, East Coast Developmental Specialist
Leslie is a trained developmental specialist. Send questions concerning port wine stains and this topic to Leslie.


Linda Seidel - Make-up Expert
Ask Linda Seidel your questions about make-up.


Nancy Roberts - Make-up Specialist
Ask our expert Nancy Roberts, Co-Creator of Smart Cover Cosmetics (, your questions about make-up.


Eileen O'Connor, Adult Living with PWS


Laurie Moore, Make Up Expert from Colortration
Laurie Moore, from will answer makeup related concerns.


Alicita, Spanish Expert
Ask our expert Alicita, your questions in Spanish.


Dr. Thomas Serena, Wound Care Expert


Sarina Patel, Young Adult Advocate



What Our Families Are Saying About Us


"We relied on the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation to provide us with the information, the contacts, the resources, and the support that we needed to get through this difficult time. Their theme, "We are making a difference" couldn't be more accurate. For us, it was all the difference in the world."
Jill Brown


Hi Linda
Just a note to say how wonderful I found the interview of you and Capital 9 news. Thanks so much for your devotion.


Meet VBF's Mascot, Buddy Booby

Owen Dreger Takes on Day of Awareness with Buddy Booby Read-along

Owen Dreger reading Buddy Booby's Birthmark BookOwen Dreger, now 8 years old, second grader, reads "Buddy Booby's Birthmark" Book to his younger brother Austin's kindergarten class at The Springfield Literacy Center (SLC) in Springfield, PA. Teacher is Mrs. Kimberly Dresner who has been participating since Owen was a kindergartner in her class.


Our family has been participating in the international read-along since Owen's first year of pre-school, and this year was a very special milestone because Owen now can read the book out loud and share all by himself with others.


Austin was very proud of his big brother Owen as he sat up front with him and helped him turn the pages, while chiming in about some of the animals and illustrations. The audience was very interested and asked many questions at the end and commented about what kind of special marks they had or that they knew friends or family members with marks.


The kids also thought it was especially cool that Evan Ducker, author and now our friend, along with his mom Donna, autographed his signature and sent him a picture inside the front cover. One little boy said, "Wow, he's famous!"


We are blessed and honored to have the opportunity to continue this awesome tradition of spreading awareness each year. May 15th will always be a special day for us all.


Letter: Importance of Vascular Birthmark Awareness Day


Evan Ducker featured on Kid's Health site:



Evan and Buddy Booby are featured on the Jonas Brothers' site Change for the Children! Click here to read the article and see the video of Evan


Inspirational Foreword by Hannah Storm, Award-Winning Television Journalist and Author


My son, Evan, was born July 4th, 1994, with a port wine stain on his face.


When he was just four years old, he innocently asked me why none of his books had characters with birthmarks. I’d never really given it much thought, but obviously-- since none of his family or friends had birthmarks-- Evan was looking for something, somewhere, he could relate to on his own level.


Donna and Evan DuckerSurprisingly, when we hit the library---there were NONE! There were medical and clinical manuals, and guidebooks to help children deal with the negative aspects of having a birthmark, (like teasing and self-confidence issues), but not one, single, age-appropriate story book featuring a positive, cute, cool, well-adjusted champion with a birthmark.


Evan was disappointed by our fruitless search. So, without even really thinking, I said, “We’ll just have to write our own book.“ And, Buddy Booby’s Birthmark was born.


Evan created the entire story. The Galapagos Island setting, the mysterious native animal characters, and even the half fact/half fiction plot all came from his imagination and obsession with animals. I asked him questions. He fed me answers.


For his story’s ending, Evan decided a magical sea hawk should grant a wish to the main character, Buddy.


In my mature, worldly, well-educated mind, I was sure my son would have Buddy wish for his birthmark to go away. After all, that would certainly make his life easier (and would most definitely be my wish if given the opportunity).


But Evan‘s answer shocked me.


“Why would Buddy waste his wish on something dumb like that?“ he


In that instant, I realized, my son was right! What a trite, foolish thing to waste a wish on.


So what did Evan decide Buddy should wish for? You’ll have to read it to find out. But, here’s a hint…It’s a wise, innocent, simple, unselfish wish.


A page from the book


We accomplished exactly what we set out to do with Buddy Booby‘s Birthmark. We made Buddy a cute, cool, well-adjusted champion who exemplifies a positive inner strength and character. He shows everyone, (by example) that if they spend so much time focusing on insignificant things--like birthmarks….they’ll lose sight of the big ones --like the miracle of birth, consideration and friendship.


In the end, Buddy stays true to himself and leaves an indelible imprint on everyone’s lives that’s far more pronounced than his birthmark!


We hope you’ll enjoy the book and share your opinions with us on our web site




1) Simply go to and register your school/group. (Email any questions to


2) Then, on May 15, 2008--in recognition of the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF) International Day of Awareness--read the children’s book, Buddy Booby’s Birthmark together, and discuss its themes of tolerance, respect, compassion, friendship & self-esteem. (Check out additional activity ideas surrounding the VBF International Day of Awareness campaign at That’s it!


3) In appreciation of your efforts, your group will receive an Official Commemorative Certificate of Participation.


* Buddy Booby’s Birthmark, (ISBN 978-0-9794413-1-8 soft - ISBN 978-0-9794413-0-1 hard), is available world-wide through & most on-line retailers including Ask for it at your local library. A portion of the profits from the sale of this book will benefit the VBF.


**TBA - Check for further announcements as the date gets closer.