The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

VBF Global Ambassadors are a global network of advocates who are working together with VBF to build awareness of vascular birthmarks and funnel support to every corner of the birthmarks community. In most cases, these are not medical professionals. However, many are either themselves an adult who has or had a vascular birthmark or who has a loved one with a vascular birthmark. In the directory below, you’ll learn more about their personal story.

Search this page to find someone local – or with whom you’d like to connect – to learn more about:

  • Physicians in your area who can help to medically manage vascular birthmark cases;
  • VBF’s Day/Month of Awareness, Put on Your Birthmark, Buddy Booby Read-Along, Ask/Accept anti-bullying, and other birthmark advocacy and awareness programs;
  • Fundraising events in support of VBF;
  • And much more.

If you or someone in your family has a birthmark and you’d like to speak with others who have had a similar experience, the Global Ambassadors can also help you identify a Parent or Adult Reps who has volunteered to provide personal support to other patients and families based on their own unique experiences.
To become a VBF Global Ambassador follow this link to register now or contact Scott Cupples, manager of the VBF Global Ambassador Program.

Our Ambassadors

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Ailee Martynowski, United States (US), Ohio

I was born in Canada & currently reside in the USA. I have a large PWS birthmark that covers my right shoulder & chest, arm, and hand. It’s always been a major part of my identity but it was not necessarily how I defined myself. I will always strive to be a positive role model for anyone born with a birthmark. Growing up looking “different” than everyone else gave me a special stance on kindness and I embody that principle in life. I have always felt like a champion for the underdog and to this day, always stand up for those being given a hard time.

I have a natural protectiveness for others who may also be perceived as being at a disadvantage for the way that they were born. A healthy attitude about oneself is everything and I’ve always embraced who I am and haven’t wanted to change my appearance. Kindness, through awareness, can and should start with you.

Alana Dolcemascolo, United States (US), New Jersey

My name is Alana Dolcemascolo. I have a venous vascular malformation on my right arm. I had 17 sclerotherapy treatments with Dr. Robert Rosen in NYC. Also I volunteered at 2 of the VBF conferences in NYC. At the age of 6 I had my first surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Aleks Pannell, United States (US), Mississippi

My name is Aleks and I was born with port wine stains on my back, bottom, both legs, and feet. I receive a lot of stares and comments from kids and adults when I wear shorts, skirts, and swimwear. I know I am always going to have stares and questions because my skin has port wine stains but I’ve learned to embrace my PWS and educate people when they have questions or comments. I’m not afraid to show my skin because I’m comfortable in the skin I’m in. I’m 13 years old now and my dream is to become a doctor. I’d love to talk with children who have questions or need someone to talk to.

Alexander Freyr W. Stefánsson, Iceland

I have lived with PWS for all my life. I have suffered through depression because of it and many other factors. I’m now working on my passion at Culinary School in Kópavogur, Iceland.

Alexandra Haan, Netherlands

Hi. I am a mother of two kids. The eldest has a lymphatic malformation for which she has had many procedures. With a few friends I started Stichting Benthe, a non profit foundation. I want to help VBF promote awareness!

Aliccia Braaten, United States (US), Arizona

Hello, my name is Aliccia. My 16 year old daughter Shellby was born with a venous vascular malformation in her soft pallet , cheek , and down her airway. We first found this when she was three months old and she had surgery for ear aches and placed tubes in both ears.

We were referred to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah were she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. The doctor explained that the birthmark could be a malformation, which was confirmed when Shelly was four. She gone on to receive eleven ear tube replacements, and also has been performing sclerotherapy at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I try to be a solid, strong and understanding parent but I have had my sad, confused, and angry days as well. I know that my daughter is the strongest, most amazing kid I have ever had the privledge to be around. We try to find any and all information and assistance on anything associated with these birthmarks so that Shellby can live an informed life with a vascular anomaly. Thank You.

Allison Kestner, United States (US), New York

Please see Lola’s Hemangioma Story which I previously submitted to Stories of Hope.

Allison Shepard, United States (US), Utah

I have Sturge-weber syndrome type 2. I have a facial birthmark and glaucoma. I also have a shunt for hydrocephalus.

Amba Smith, United Kingdom (UK), Lincolnshire

I was born with a facial port wine stain (and Sturge-Weber) all over my face and all over my body. With this I also suffer from Rhynauds disease in my right hand. Since being a baby I have had a lot of Lazer treatment on my face to reduce the redness. At age 12 I started to wear makeup to cover my port wine stain on my face as it gave me confidence issues, but camouflage was so heavy and cakey that I decided to start using “normal” drugstore makeup to help cover the redness. I found a technique and makeup brands which I like so then decided to create a instagram account to help out others who struggle with confidence issues abd help them achieve perfect coverage of their birthmarks.

Amy Ashton, United Kingdom (UK), ORR

My 5 year old daughter had PHACE syndrome. I’m anxious to help VBF spread awareness.