VBF Lang, Director of Communications

Latham, New York 




Website for Race: 

July 28, 2021

6th Annual Purple Polka Dot Race is Open for Registrations 

About  700 in-person and virtual participants are anticipated from 30 states and 4 countries; event proceeds to benefit the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation

The Vascular Birthmark Foundation (VBF) and the Purple Polka Dot Race (PPDR) are excited to announce that the 6th Annual Race will take place on Sunday,  Aug. 15, 2021, in Eastwood Beach at the scenic Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township, Michigan. 

The Purple Polka Dot Race was created in 2016 after Jody Lee of Lake Orion, Michigan, and her family attended their first VBF Conference in 2015. Their daughter, Meghana, was given a confirmed diagnosis, networked into treatment and entered into a supportive birthmark community with mentors and friends of all ages all over the country. 

“When Meghana was born, we were told different things by different doctors,” explained Jody Lee. “I was a first-time mom and didn’t know where to go for accurate information. I came across the VBF website and was introduced to Dr. Linda and their network of resources. Attending the Conference in 2015 in California was life changing for my family and I wanted to give other families that same experience.”

Named after the “purple polka dots” associated with a Port Wine Stain after laser treatments, the race has become one of the largest events in the country for families affected by vascular birthmarks.  All proceeds from the Purple Polka Dot Race go to the VBF to ensure families receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for all Vascular Birthmarks, Anomalies, and Related Anomalies (VBARS).

“Jody Lee and her family have brought awareness of vascular birthmarks to thousands of people,” said Linda Rozell-Shannon, Ph.D. “Through her work with the Purple Polka Dot Race, we are able to send an additional 10-15 families to our conference/clinic and raise awareness for families all over Michigan. ”

Participants in this year’s race can attend in-person or virtually with 5K, 10K, Handcycle, and Family Fun Run options. The race will include opportunities to learn more about vascular birthmarks and VBF. Races will start at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the morning. Registrations are accepted until August 14 and participants can register by visiting:

About the Vascular Birthmark Foundation:

Dr. Linda Rozell Shannon (lovingly referred to as Dr. Linda) is the President and founder of the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation. She has her Phd in Education, her Master of Science in Health Education, and has been a freelance writer and analyst for over 25 years. In 1994, after her daughter, Christine Mary Shannon, was diagnosed with a hemangioma, Dr. Linda began researching and writing information on vascular birthmarks, creating what is now known as the Vascular Birthmark Foundation (VBF). Since its inception in 1994, VBF has successfully networked thousands of children and adults into treatment, sponsored significant research, educated physicians and affected family members about the diagnosis and treatment of vascular birthmarks, and established chapters all over the world.