The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation
Ask the Young Adult Advocate
Hi my name is Sarina Patel. I was born with vascular malformation on my right arm and neck. My family and I found VBF when I was fourteen and almost immediately jumped at the opportunity to start sclerotherapy procedures with Dr. Rosen in New York. At the time I was just finishing my first year of high school; I knew that it would be very hard to juggle both school and trips from California to New York for the procedures, so I made the decision to switch from attending public high school to being homeschooled.
After 3 years of being homeschooled I graduated high school and am now a college freshman studying psychology at The University of California, Davis. I have had nine sclerotherapy procedures, and plan to continue procedures over summer vacations.
It has not been easy; I have dealt with everything from bullies to trying to write my college personal statements from a hospital bed, however as cliché as it might sound, everything I have gone through has made me a stronger person. I can honestly say that if it were not for my birthmark I would not be the same person I am now. I’m pursuing a career in psychology in hopes to be the person that people looking for advice or comfort can come to. I am not finished with my procedures and am still learning from what life throws my way. However, I know that dealing with a birthmark is exceptionally rare, to say the least, and it’s hard to find someone who truly understands what you’re going through. Just know that I’m here if you ever want or need someone who can relate.