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

Reset

Amanda Byram, United States (US), Georgia

My name is Amanda Byram. I am from a super small town in middle Georgia. I remember growing up feeling like I was the only person in the world with a port wine stain. It was such a lonely feeling. One day, I decided to search the hashtag #portwinestain on Instagram, and immediately my world got A LOT bigger.

I immediately began reaching out to people, joining groups, and learning to love my birthmark. I have made SO many genuine friendships over the last few years thanks to the various groups and social media in general. I love seeing people with port wine stains “in the wild” (as I like to call it). I always try to approach the people I see to at-least say hi and introduce myself.

I am now married with two beautiful girls. I am doing my best to raise my girls to have confidence in themselves. I started embracing my birthmark years ago and I hope my girls will look up to me one day and know that they are beautiful.

I want to help others love themselves as well. I know how lonely I used to feel so if I can help one person not feel that way, I’m happy. I am so proud to be apart of the birthmark community.

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.

Ana Pinto, Bolivia, Cochabamba

My baby was born with a hemangioma in her mouth and nose. When she was a week old she started ulceration. At that moment, we started to look for help. Sadly, we couldn’t find a doctor in our country who could treat her. She took propranolol, atenolol, timolol and she received laser. Nothing worked early on, so we started to look for options on the internet which is where we found Dr Linda. She told us to contact baby face foundation. After a year of waiting, they took us to New York and Dr. Waner and Dr. Warren made the reconstructive surgery for my baby. We found angels in this journey that have changed my baby’s life and we can’t be more thankful for this opportunity to spread awareness!

Andrea Olivo, United States (US), Massachusetts

I was born in Venezuela, I was diagnosed with a hemangioma and was told we should wait until I turned 7 years old because it was supposed to disappear. However, that never happened. So I began treatment very late, and due to inexperienced doctors I almost lost my life when I was 7 years old. After this experience, doctors recommended that my parents to take me out of the country and see vascular anomalies specialists, so we came to Boston. It has been a long process with lots of procedures, but God has been great, and this experience has made me strong. Otherwise, I am a grateful women, I’m a violinist, I speak Spanish, English, Portugués, as well as sign language. I went to Med School for 4 years in my country, I didn’t finish because I move to the US, but at some point I would love to continue studying.

Andrea Rodgers, United States (US), Washington

I was born with a lymphatic malformation/hemangioma on my left hip. I had two pretty invasive surgeries as a baby and three more between the ages of 10 and 25. Thankfully, I never really have had many complications over the years. I’m now in my 40’s, have had two children and am an avid runner. I’ve completed over 20 half marathons and a full marathon all with a lymphatic malformation/hemangioma the covers my entire left hip.

Andrew Jenkins, United Kingdom (UK)

My name is Andrew Jenkins, and I have a port wine stain (Capillary Malformation), on my right cheek. It was looked at regularly until I was nine-years-old, I saw a plastic surgeon at Gloucester Royal Hospital, named Mr. Clive Reid. He intended to do a skin graft on my birthmark but decided against it because of the location, and we decided to put my name forward for laser treatment. In November 1992, I received a letter from a Mr. J M Kenealy from Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, offering me some laser treatment and offering a summary of how it works. I had a test patch done on my left arm and had no adverse reactions, so we decided to go ahead with the treatment.

Angela Papini, United States (US), Washington

Hello, I’m Angela. I am a 45 year old, proud mom of 3 amazing boys. I own 2 yoga studios and I’m so grateful for the VBF community and all that it stands for. Living with a birthmark on your face is not easy, I feel like I have had a bit of all the “feels” associated with it. I believe there are many gifts that present themselves by having a PWS. Some come in real friendships & support, part of it is being different/unique, and some come as the understanding that some people can be really mean and you don’t want to show up in the world in that way. I’ve only recently looked at the potential of removing my birthmark. In the past, it wasn’t an option, insurance wouldn’t cover it. I love that VBF has given us a choice, some direction and the opportunity to work with the best! I am always available to listen and share, connection is key to all survival. -Namaste

Anne Antonelli, United States (US), Oklahoma

I have a large birthmark that makes me stand out and I love that about myself. Growing up I dealt with bullying, insecurity, anger, and depression. I still deal with anxiety when I am in public but the more I accept and learn to love myself, the more it disappears. I did laser treatments when I was younger but realized I was trying to get rid of it to make others feel more comfortable. It has taken time, but I love who I am, and I love my life. I am an active presence on social media to spread awareness of birthmarks and break the stereotypes of beauty. I also work as an accountant, and I am also a former opera singer. I am pursuing my CPA and always pushing myself past my comfort zone. I have PWS but PWS doesn’t own me.

Ashley Dao, Canada, Alberta

Our daughter Savannah is 2 years old and she was born with Port Wine Stains on roughly 80% of her body. At first it was very overwhelming because we didn’t know anything about these types of birthmarks or the other issues that they can cause. Through research online, our specialists and other parents we have been able to gain a better understanding of what Port Wine Stains are and what other things can be associated with them. We are still learning, but are hopeful that we can spread awareness and are here to support other parents.