Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Hemangiomas  |  Port Wine Stains  |  Vascular Malformations  
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1994 - 2016
Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder
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Updates from Dr. Linda



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!  


While 40,000 babies are born each year that will have a vascular birthmark so significant they will need to see a specialist, most doctors are not trained to identify these anomalies and to properly refer the child or adult to the correct specialist. So, we have taken it upon ourselves to “get the word out.”


We have been working with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to educate physicians. An article I co-authored for AAP’s official newsmagazine was published earlier this month (read a copy on the AAP website). This article is the first time the AAP has publicly stated the babies need to be referred at the four-week well-baby check up if a vascular birthmark is still present, does not appear to be resolving, and has the potential to become disfiguring and/or problematic so that treatment can begin early! Home Run!!!   

I will also be co-hosting a webinar on May 17th that all pediatricians will be able to access.  In addition to these two huge educational milestones, our on-line course in vascular birthmarks and anomalies will be launched very soon!


All over the world, during May, people are hosting awareness events and doing fund raisers for VBF. Each event educates more and more people about what a vascular birthmark is and what the treatment options are. They allow people to share their personal stories.  And they highlight the struggles of obtaining accurate information and the resources that become available once connected with VBF.


Join us. Tell your story. Host a Read-Along of “Buddy Booby’s Birthmark.” And on May 15th join our #PutOnYourBirthmark Social Media Challenge, an international campaign to show your love and support for someone affected by a vascular birthmark. Our goal is 30,000 people wearing a red heart … please join us in raising awareness, making a difference, and continuing to provide hope. Learn more about how you can help on VBF’s Day of Awareness website then post with the hashtag #PutOnYourBirthmark.


Thank you all and God bless 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.


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Treating Hemangiomas: When to treat, when not to treat

February 13, 2017
Dr. Linda

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.


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Early Intervention

January 9, 2017

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon


Dr. Linda of FacebookHow 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.”


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100,000 Strong!

December 7, 2016
by: Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon


Christine ShannonIt goes without saying that every child is special. But for me, every child with a vascular birthmark is extra special. Ever since 1994, when my daughter Christine was diagnosed with a hemangioma, my life has been focused on helping every family affected by a vascular birthmark. That’s why I founded the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF), to educate affected families and treatment experts about the latest information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of these often complex lesions. No one was there for me in 1994. Because of that, I vowed to God that I would dedicate my life to this cause, so that no parent would be alone on this journey. That was 22 years ago. Today, I am proud to announce that the vow I made in 1994 has resulted in the most amazing event in VBF history.


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