The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

I am Gina Rothe, Project Associate with the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation, and a freelance portrait photographer located in the Hudson Valley, New York. I spent most of my life ignoring my vascular birthmark letting people know it was ‘just a birthmark’ when asked, if they were concerned. I was never aware of judgements or bullying until I started to achieve things in athletics and my careers.

But, it’s not just a birthmark. It’s a highly visible physical difference, and one that still requires educating others among general populations and among medical professionals, domestically and internationally. It’s a rare condition that needs certain maintenance that health insurance still denies coverage for.

While having a visible vascular birthmark has presented challenges I’ve always accepted myself and my differences because I believe authenticity is powerful and magnetic.

Gina Rothe

I’ve been grateful to re-energize in this last year as part of the VBF staff—to use my love for communications and storytelling to help spread awareness, support fundraising, engage with the community, support our free laser clinics, and educate our youth. I’m so grateful to have met others with varied experiences that have the same focused energy. I’m also grateful to have had my vascular birthmark—a lymphangioma circumscriptum—appropriately diagnosed.

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Gina RotheGive2myVBF Fundraiser

As part of the VBF’s International Month of Awareness, I’m launching a Give2myVBF fundraiser aimed at donating a one-hour, non-commercial photoshoot for every $250 raised with a goal of $1000. The recipient(s) will ultimately be individuals with vascular birthmarks and/or a parent that has a child with a vascular birthmark.

Interested in entering the drawing? Send your name and a photo of the birthmarked individual to gina@birthmark.org with Portraits For Birthmarks in the subject and I will go live at the VBF Global Ambassador Instagram page during my IG takeover at 8 pm ET on May 30, drawing up to 4 names, depending on the amount raised.

*These portrait sessions do not include the cost of travel to the Hudson Valley, N.Y., accomodations, hair, makeup or styling. It does include a one-hour, on-location (non-studio) photo session complete with an online portfolio. Visible vascular birthmarks will not be edited, altered or removed. Prints are an additional cost.

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