The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

Submitted by parent, Serbia What is your (or your child’s) birthmark type, and name/age of birthmarked individual?
Birthmark type is Vascular Malformation (VM), located on the face / head.
Her name is Teodora and she is now 9 years old.

Have you encountered problems with access to treatment where you are located? Or, what has been your greatest hurdle in this regard?
This is a very complicated question, because we come from Serbia, our medicine is at the level of the Stone Age.

Briefly:

-up to her first birthday her condition was treated as a crushing during childbirth

-up to 2 y. as a hemangioma, which will pass by itself, by their opinion

-and from 3rd year until consultations with VBF in Athens was treated as AVM (mainly with advice to do nothing until some bleeding).

Describe your experience living with a vascular birthmark during the last two or more years?
With the arrival of the coronavirus and isolation, we experienced a terrible fear for her life. What if she starts to swell or bleed or needs new medication and you are not allowed to leave the house? How, in general, will coronavirus affect her?

What does the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation mean to you, and what will attending the Free Laser Clinic in Milan, Italy mean to you or your family?
VBF means everything to us! Before you, we felt hopeless, lonely and scared! As a parent, in general, the most important thing is that your child is healthy, so imagine that your child swells so much that she cannot swallow, her skin and face hurt, imagine that she has apnea and that you do not know who to turn to and how to help. Getting to know your foundation and the doctors of your team have changed our lives! Your team of doctors in Athens changed our diagnosis and told us what to do in just 10 minutes of consultation! Attending the laser we hope will bring results and reduce VM as much as possible.

What would you like the broader community to know about living with a vascular birthmark?
If you are a parent of a child with a malformation, first of all show him that you know he/she has a malformation and that you will take care of the treatment and be with him no matter what, but teach the child that it is ok to be different and know how to tell others. Acceptance in the family.