Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder
Jody and John Lee founded the Purple Polka Dot Race (PPDR) in 2015 to honor their daughter Meghana who was born with 10 fingers, 10 toes and a special birthmark on her cheek and chin that they later found out was a port wine stain (PWS). VBF was there to provide the Lee Family not only with answers to some of their questions but also with a sense of community and support system unlike any other. Their sweet and sassy little girl receives laser treatments for her PWS, which causes her to have temporary purple polka dots on her face. Their mission is to raise awareness and encourage acceptance for all those out there who are also sporting their very own “purple polka dots”!
Four years later, the annual PPD run at Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township, Michigan has a HUGE following of dedicated supporters – both virtual and in-person and has transformed into one of the largest and most successful national events held to raise awareness and funds for vascular birthmarks. The PPD team also hosts mini fundraising events throughout the year, such as Yoga & Brunch, Paint Nights and Exercise Classes to continue the awareness tradition.
Through their fundraising and advocacy efforts, Jody and her team have sponsored hundreds of families to attend our annual conference & clinic for free, changing the lives of countless individuals and harboring a community unlike any other. Jody is also a cherished member of our VBF Board of Directors.
VBF is inspired by the Lee family’s dedication to our shared mission and is profoundly grateful for all they’ve done for VBF and our entire birthmark community.