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. 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;
  • Their experience living with a vascular birthmark;
  • 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 find personal support from other patients and families based on their own unique experiences.

AWARENESS

RESOURCES

CONTACT

  • Want to learn more about the VBF Global Ambassadors? For any questions or feedback, please please contact:

Scott Cupples
Director, VBF Global Ambassador Program
ambassador@birthmark.org

Our Ambassadors

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Judy Hamm, United States (US), Alabama

I’m 54, widowed, and have one birth child and custody of two others. Recently, I completed an associates in applied science degree and have been accepted into nursing school for the fall. I was born with a PWS, glaucoma, and a tumor of Weber in the central nervous system of the brain. It only bothers me when it swells, and I have never suffered from seizures or loss of motors skills. My diagnosis came at age four, and I’ve consulted many doctors throughout my journey. Often times, I need to explain my conditions to doctors where I’m from, as they are often unfamiliar. Using Facebook, I am part of many blogs to try and help in any way possible. I realize that no two are the same, but we are all part of a big puzzle and need to stick together.

Justice Uzoma, Nigeria, Imo

I was born this way, a lot of people I told me what to do in other to clean it but am not sure if it will work, I have outstanding relationship with people but a lot of people stare at me at first sight, some use it a joke while my intimate friends don’t ask or say anything about it, I feel different from other people, I also have feelings that am unique.

Justin Northern, United States (US), Oregon

I’m a 34 year old husband, and father of 3. I’ve managed having a PWS birthmark and SWS my entire life. I’ve lived the lowest lows and highest highs managing life with this affliction. I have a unique point of view on life that only someone with my experiences can relate too. I want to help others who that might have or are experiencing the trials and tribulations of having a disorder like mine. Medically, I do not know enough about the condition but I’m learning. Physically and emotionally I’ve been though it and have lots to share on how to get though and be positive.

Justin Notarfrancesco, United States (US), Pennsylvania

Hey! I’m a 35 year old Police Sergeant, husband, and father to two wonderful children. I’ve had a port wine stain on the left side of my face/neck/lip my whole life. Growing up, I went through the all of the normal awkwardness of being a kid, with the added pressures of looking different. Although I didn’t realize it then, the adversities I faced made me a stronger person. Today, I get to enjoy my life and family as a guy who can face just about anything. However, my confidence didn’t come easy, and I wish I had someone in a similar circumstance to lean on as a kid. For this reason, I’m happy to be an ambassador, to share experiences and help young kids with birthmarks in any way I can!

Kat Brockschmidt, United States (US), Oregon

I started being treated in 1992, when I was 16 weeks old. I regularly received treatments in NY, with Dr. Geronemus every two months, until I graduated high school. I went through half a dozen different generations of laser in that time, and grew alongside the research Dr. G was doing. Now at 28, I have over a hundred surgeries and treatments under my belt, and I have seen a lot of changes in my port wine stain. I am happy to speak to anyone, anytime about my journey, and about the therapy’s I am in now for my conditions.

Kate Crozier, Australia, New South Wales

Hi, My name is Kate and I was born with a Port Wine Stain that covers my right arm. Growing up I was always so self conscious of my arm and I’d always wear long sleeves to hide it. My family were always very good to me, labeling my right arm as my “special” arm as having a large red mark on it is so unique. When I was born in 1995, my parents decided to see a dermatologist to ask what options they had to remove my birthmark. At school, going to social events, even going to petrol cash register I have always had stares, questions if I had burnt myself, bullied or just plain stares. When my parents were speaking to a dermatologist, I’m so glad they didn’t remove it. It is part of my life and apart of me, and I love the mark that I was born with.

I would love to become an Ambassador for the Vascular Birthmark Foundation as I believe that having a birthmark myself it is my duty to become an advocate for birthmarks and children and adults shouldn’t be so self conscious of the mark they were born with. I would also love to meet other people with birthmarks as I haven’t meet another person that has a similar mark to me.

we should love ourselves for who we are, because the mark makes us special.

Kathryn Brocchi, United States (US), New York

Hi, my name is Kathryn. I have been diagnosed with Cloves Syndrome and I have light port wine stains all over my left arm and right hand. I also have a port wine stain on my lower back. I joined the Ambassadors to help VBF spread awareness!

Kathryn Ong, Malaysia, Johor

I was born in a small town in Malaysia with PWS on my my face and 80% of my body. I also have glaucoma and varicous veins on my right leg due to my PWS. When I was born, doctors didn’t know what it was and they just advise my parents these are blood vessels and to keep me safe as I bleed easily. Over the years my PWS has started to develop into nodules especially on my face and there is pretty nothing much my doctor can for me.

Growing up I had my share of bullies and I became confident individual. I want to inspire others and show the world everyone has a choice in how we want to live our life.

I would like to bring more awareness that we can achieve what we set out to achieve and I am ready to help people with the similar problems in any way all over the world.

Katie Capes, United Kingdom (UK)

I was born with a port wine stain birthmark on the left of my neck. I grew up with the ‘jokes’ about it being a hickey and had some interesting nicknames! Comments are still passed today but I am 37, and confident to correct people. I’ve had laser treatment years ago but it wasn’t successful.

Kayla Collins, United States (US), South Carolina

Jaxon was born February 26th and just a week after he was born he was coming home looking back on the pictures there was a small red line in between his eyes. By the 20th of that month the line was bigger and swollen, so I made an appointment with his pediatrician and explained that he had seen this before and it was a compound hemangioma. He had not dealt with many, but he knew of a world-renowned doctor in the Charleston area that specialized in them. So, we immediately got a referral and met with Dr. Hochman, who told us that he would need a medicine and, would be admitted to the hospital to start it. We are here to be a voice for our son and others alike.