Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder
My hemangioma story is as much my own as it is my mother’s. I was born in 1999 with a Hemangioma on my left forearm while my family was living in Germany. My dad was in the US Army, and he was stationed overseas in Germany. My parents had no idea what a Hemangioma was, and no one they knew had ever heard of it.
People used to ask my mom everywhere we went ‘did someone burn your daughter?’ ‘Did someone but your daughter?’ ‘What did you do to your poor child?’, to which my mom would have to explain that it was a birthmark. I know it caused her a lot of pain to constantly be accused of hurting me by random strangers.
When I was younger, my mom used to tell me that my Hemangioma marked the spot where an angel had kissed me and that I should be proud of my special birthmark and show it off. Because of this, I was never self-conscious about my hemangioma.
As I grew older, my hemangioma faded on its own without any treatments. Today, it is barely noticeable on my arm. My mother and I still use every chance we get to educate people around me about hemangiomas so that if they encounter a child with one, they understand. My mom has joined multiple hemangioma support groups online to help support other mother’s whose children are born with hemangiomas, and when her friend’s son was born with a Port Wine Stain Birthmark coveting his arm, my mom was the first to recognize it and recommended her distraught friend to see a dermatologist to help the child.
I know I have been incredibly lucky to have hemangioma on my arm, and luckier still to have a mom that was so understanding and supportive. I’ve got pictures of my arm from when I was first born to when I was older (5ish) and the Mark is still visible, to the present day where the mark is only faintly noticeable.