Vascular Birthmarks Foundation to Celebrate Annual VBF Day of Awareness with “Put on Your Birthmark!” Social Media Challenge

International community to rally in May for all types of vascular birthmarks


Niskayuna, NY, April 12, 2017 – The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF)—the world’s leading charitable organization dedicated to helping children and adults born with vascular birthmarks such as port wine stains, hemangiomas, and other vascular malformations and associated syndromes—will sponsor its Annual International Day of Awareness on May 15th, 2017.  At the “heart” of this year’s initiative will be a “Put on Your Birthmark!” social media campaign to foster awareness and understanding of birthmarks, and reduce the stigma for those who live with them.


One in ten children are born with a vascular birthmark; roughly 10%—40,000 a year in the United States alone—can become problematic, disfiguring, and even life threatening.  For those patients and their families, VBF is a vital resource providing information, support, and educational resources.  VBF also funds research and physician training, and fosters public awareness of vascular birthmarks.


“Our mission is to ensure that every patient living with a vascular birthmark is networked into treatment,” explained Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD, VBF founder and president. “We want to help every patient get an early and accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.”


VBF has networked more than 100,000 children and adults with vascular birthmarks and associated conditions into proper medical treatment.


In 2004, New York Congressman John Sweeney (R) and members of the U.S. House of Representatives designated May 15th as a Day of Awareness for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation. As VBF’s community of families continued to grow, May 15th became an International Day of Awareness and May became “Vascular Birthmark Awareness Month.”


The “Put on Your Birthmark!” Challenge builds on a 2016 Facebook post of VBF’s “Dr. Linda” wearing a red heart on her face to symbolize a birthmark. The post—one of the highest ranking engagements in VBF history—generated thousands of additional impressions as photos were shared by families and individuals across the globe who sported either their “red heart” or their actual birthmark. In a show of support for VBF, physicians who treat vascular birthmarks also posted photos with the red heart.


VBF’s 2017 goal is to have participation from 10,000 families all over the world; the “Put on your Birthmark!” Challenge will continue through the end of May as an ongoing component of Vascular Birthmark Awareness Month.


The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF) is celebrating 23 years of helping families affected by hemangiomas, port wine stains, vascular malformations, Sturge-Weber Syndrome, Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome and other vascular birthmarks and tumors. VBF has networked more than 100,000 children and adults with vascular birthmarks and associated conditions into proper medical treatment. They have also assembled teams of expert physicians who they bring around the world to train doctors to appropriate diagnose and treat these often complex lesions. VBF was founded in 2014 by Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD, after her daughter Christine was born with a hemangioma; Dr. Linda is now considered the world’s lay expert concerning this topic.  See  for more information.

#VBFawareness, #PutOnYourBirthmark, and #birthmarks.