Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Hemangiomas  |  Port Wine Stains  |  Vascular Malformations  
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1994 - 2018

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder
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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:




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!








* Buddy Booby’s Birthmark, (ISBN 978-0-9794413-1-8 soft - ISBN 978-0-9794413-0-1 hard), is available world-wide through the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation & 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.