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

VBF Global Ambassadors are a global network of advocates who work together with VBF to build awareness of vascular birthmarks and funnel support to every corner of the birthmarks communities. In most cases, these are not medical professionals. Many are 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 stories.

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.

NEWSLETTER

AWARENESS

RESOURCES

CONTACT

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

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

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Gracie Beth Scrushy, United States (US), Texas

I’m 16 and was born with a port wine stain that covers the majority of my right leg, and also my upper and lower back. Dr. Roy Geronemus performed my laser surgery, which began when I was three weeks old and continued until I was four. Once after treatment, teachers thought my bruising was perhaps a contagious disease, and they isolated me from the other children. When I reached junior high, I was bullied over my birthmark and realized that not everyone sees my appearance the way my parents see it: beautiful. My passion for dance has placed me in numerous situations where I have to explain my condition. When people stare, I can smile back and inform them about my birthmark and the symptoms related to it. I want to be able to spread awareness so we can stop the stares and help kids feel comfortable in their skin.

Hadlee and Rachel Hudson, United States (US), Missouri

My name is Rachel Hudson and my 6 year old daughter Hadlee was born with a Port Wine Stain on her left eye and forehead. Hadlee had her 5th laser treatment at the 2018 VBF conference in NYC and has had amazing results. We were misinformed about birthmarks when she was born and found VBF through research. When Hadlee was born, we were told her Birthmark would disappear and not to worry. The VBF informed us bout treatments and the chance of developing SEO. Hadlee received ultrasounds and sees an ophthalmologist regularly to be sure she is in good health. The VBF is such a huge part in Hadlee’s health and confidence. Hadlee already knows enough to explain what a PWS is and why she needs treatments. She loves animals, reading, school, and making new friends. We are so grateful for the VBF and everything they do for us.

Haley Beebe,

My daughter Della has 5 hemangiomas, one with a possible tethered cord as a result. I’ve had to learn quickly how to manage her birthmarks, specialty doctors appointments, and educating those around her that she’s a perfectly healthy, happy child!

Heidi Marijczyn, United States (US), California

I was born with a venous malformation that was misdiagnosed as a hemangioma due to the limited knowledge at the time. My parents researched and got the best treatment offered at the time. My parents helped me to deal with the bullying and develop strong self-esteem. As a result, my birthmark does not define me, it’s just one part of the whole ‘me’. Fast forward to age 21 where my mom discovered new treatment options with Drs. Geronemus and Berenstein at NYC at the time. I had an experimental sclerotherapy surgery. It was intense, so I put it on the back burner. 10 years later my mom saw a tv piece on Dr. Waner and his work. I started treatment with Dr. Waner and Berenstein and had a tissue excision and sclerotherapy surgery along with several laser surgeries. I’ve joined the VBF Ambassador program to provide support, whether peer or for families. I truly feel that our uniqueness makes us memorable!

Helena Paxton, United States (US), Tennessee

I was diagnosed with blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome at 18 months old. Since, I have a right parieto-occipital AVM that bled before I was born. I also have 3 venous malformations on my left leg and toes. 2 paraspinal muscle lesions and a lesion on my right retina.

Ilana Soto, United States (US), California

Miranda’ is a 15 year old beautiful girl that was born with malformations and red stains, she’s been bullyed in school or everywhere she goes but she’s very strong and loves school she will love to help to help other doctors to understand her condition and find a cure.

Isabella Swanson, United States (US), Georgia

My name is Isabella and I have two hemangiomas: one on my shoulder and one on my lower cheek. I was told by a plastic surgeon that they would disappear by the time I turned 18, but they never did. Throughout my education, I have received comments questioning what happened to me. After five years of actively trying to cover them up, I have fully embraced the fact that I am different. I had never seen someone with a birthmark like mine, and I want to help others who feel the same way!

Facebook: Isabella Swanson

Isabelle Vargas, United States (US), Nevada

My name is Jayden Torres I’m 11 years old and I was born with SWS and my port wine stain at 6 months I was diagnosed with glaucoma I received an implant to control my pressure of my right eye and at 7 months my epileptic attacks started and then I got Hemangioma in my nose. Thanks to Dr. Linda I met my angel the Dr. Geronemus from Laser &Skin Surgery.

Ishani Trzaska, United States (US), Illinois

Hi! I’m Ishani and two weeks after I was born, a hemangioma developed on my forehead! It’s quite large, and was very red and purple as a child. My parents did so much to help me when I was an infant so that they could make sure that the hemangioma didn’t affect my left eye. Because of the laser procedures and medication I received as an infant, it gradually improved in size and color. In 2012, I had a major surgery. Then, in 2016, I had three more major surgeries to help the appearance.

I have been through so much, and now I want to be a source for helping others like me! It is so important to be there for one another, and I’m very blessed to be a part of this community!

Jade Brownfield, United States (US), New York

My quite large port wine stain over my right shoulder, has followed me all the way from Indiana to New York and many places between. My background is in fashion and fitness, I was a “clothes hanger” for over 10 years. Half of the people I worked with probably have no idea I have this large birthmark as I’ve mastered the art of covering it. I have gone through excruciating laser treatments and tried all of the creams. Standing in heels and awkward hair flips to cover my shoulder left me with some serious back pain. I found pilates. I’m now a clothes hanger and also a certified mat pilates instructor. This helped me deal with my back pain and my “road rash” arm as an ex boyfriend lovingly coined my port wine stain.

I’m 30. I’m ready to help others not have to master that horrible art.

How can I help?