VBF Ends 2017 With Major Milestones
December 6, 2017
2017 has been the most amazing year in VBF history and it would not have been possible without your support. Just look at what we accomplished:
- VBF exceeded well over 100,000 children and adults that were successfully networked into treatment since our establishment in 1994. That’s 10,000 in one year !
- There were over 3 million monthly hits on our websites, as VBF reached people from around the world.
- Four college scholarships were awarded to deserving students who are living with a vascular birthmark, tumor, or related syndrome.
- We had over 40 Day of Awareness events held nationwide to raise money and awareness for VBF, and to share stories of hope.
- Thousands of individuals and families from all over the world participated in our “Put on Your Birthmark” campaign on social media, making it our largest to-date.
- We launched Dr. Linda’s Blog and our Stories of Hope series to share even more medical information and personal stories of comradery with our international community.
- I worked with the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) to co-host a webinar on vascular birthmarks, and to publish an article concerning the need for early treatment that I co-wrote with the former AAP President and Pediatric Dermatology Chairman. A huge win for our families.
- VBF launched our monthly VBF Facebook Live sessions, where I go LIVE with guest physicians to discuss accurate diagnosis and treatment options. We have reached over 75,000 VBF Facebook Live views this year!
- Our annual Vascular Birthmarks Conference & Clinics in Irvine, California was one of our largest to-date, with over 275 in attendance and over 145 clinic appointments.
- We gifted 70 families with free scholarships to attend our annual conference (a $500 per family value).
- VBF received its BBB (Better Business Bureau) 5-star rating and Guidestar Silver rating, formalizing our continued commitment to transparency and being good stewards of every donation.
- VBF launched the first ever multi-disciplinary online course in vascular anomalies called, “A Foundation in Vascular Anomalies” to offer continuing medical education credit to medical professionals around the world on the latest in research and treatment methods.
In order to continue with our critical work, we need your financial support. I’m hoping that you will pick VBF for your end-of-year donation; which is tax deductible. Most importantly, your donation will change the life of a child or adult affected by a vascular birthmark.
Just click on our GIVE2VBF link to make your end-of-year donation or you can mail it to VBF, PO Box 106, Latham, NY 12110.
Thank you for thinking of VBF this giving season. Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, President and Founder
Along with the board and staff of VBF
An exciting summer for families affected by a vascular birthmark!
July 21, 2017
What an exciting summer it has been for families affected by a vascular birthmark! In May, many of you participated in our Vascular Birthmarks Month of Awareness, our May 15th Day of Awareness, and our “Put on Your Birthmark” campaign. Families from all over the world shared their photos and experiences … we are so thankful to all of you. The networking that came out of our 2017 Awareness activities sparked the idea for creation of the new “VBF Ambassador Program” that we will be launching in September. Our vision is for an exciting global network of individuals and families affected by a vascular birthmark who are all striving for uniform diagnosis and treatment standards and who are committed to raising awareness and supporting the mission and vision of VBF. Stay tuned for the exciting announcement in the next few weeks.
May is Vascular Birthmarks Awareness Month
May 10, 2017
It’s the best month of the year!
Thanks to the support of former Congressman John Sweeney (R-NY) more than ten years ago, May 15th is recognized as the Vascular Birthmarks Day of Awareness and May has become the Vascular Birthmarks Month of Awareness.
You may be asking, “What’s so important about having a month and a day of awareness?” The answer is “Everything!” The VBF Month and Day of Awareness campaign is about educating as many people as possible about vascular birthmarks. Not just telling them what they are, but also telling them what the treatment options are. It’s about education through social media, our website, and you!
Laser Therapy for Treating Port Wine Stains and Infantile Hemangiomas
March 5, 2017
Our next VBF Facebook Live sessions will focus on using lasers to treat Infantile Hemangiomas and Port Wine Stains. Two of the world's leading experts in this field, Dr. Stuart Nelson and Dr. Roy Geronemus, will be co-hosting the sessions with me to share critical information for families affected by these vascular birthmark types.
On March 5th, Dr. Nelson will explain why he prefers to treat patients early (as young as one month of age) and while under anesthesia. On March 31st, Dr. Geronemus will share his preference for early treatment (as soon as the birthmark appears on a baby, even just after birth) but explain why he prefers not to use anesthesia.
Treating Hemangiomas: When to treat, when not to treat
February 13, 2017
In this month’s post I will address some of the confusion regarding treatment of Infantile Hemangiomas (commonly called “hemangiomas”).
One in ten children are born with a vascular birthmark, most being a hemangioma. Ninety percent (90%) will resolve on their own. The remaining 10% – roughly 40,000 babies each year – who will need the opinion of a specialist are the children that VBF is most concerned about because of the ongoing questions about if and when to pursue treatment.
In 2015, VBF Expert Dr. David Darrow was successful in getting his Guidelines for Treating Infantile Hemangiomas published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Because the lifecycle for integrating a new treatment practice into everyday care can be up to eight years, these guidelines are not yet in widespread practice. As a result, many babies with a hemangioma are still not being accurately diagnosed or appropriately treated.
January 9, 2017
Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon
How soon should my child start treatment for their vascular birthmark? That is one of the most common questions VBF receives. This topic is so important that I hosted the first FACEBOOK LIVE WITH DR. LINDA on January 9th regarding this very topic.
Infantile Hemangiomas and the Port Wine Stains are the two vascular birthmark types that most parents write to us about regarding early intervention.
For the Infantile Hemangioma, it is critical that an accurate diagnosis be made and that treatment begins at or around the four-week well baby checkup. Why? Because this is when the “map” of the hemangioma is usually fully present and it is the best time to try to abort the growth. Most doctors have been trained to “ignore” these lesions and to tell the parents to “leave it alone, it will eventually go away.” However, this philosophy, which is referred to as “benign neglect,” is contrary to the mission and purpose of not only the VBF, but to many of the treatment experts that work with us.
Most parents have an instinct or “still small voice” that tells them something is “not right.”