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.
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.
Director, VBF Global Ambassador Program
My name is Morgan I am 26 years old I’m from Georgia, and I have a port wine stain birthmark on the right side of my face. I also have SWS. I was diagnosed with SWS at 3months old.
Well, I’m about to turn 37 and as many people like me I’ve been bullied my entire life, even now as an adult. While it once bothered me I’ve learned that my happiness doesn’t depend on what others think of me. Once I realized that I flourished! I’m now a very successful off-road business owner and I’ve competed in an all female international off-road rally race and definitely will do it again. I won’t to show others that this mark on my face simply doesn’t define who I am. I want to be the hope little girls or boys look for when they’re faced with the same dilemma.
My name is Morgan Putbrese, I am 22 years old and I have klippel-trenaunay syndrome which affects my left leg from buttock to knee with a vascular malformation. I also have lymphatic involving muscles, bone, and nerve. Although I face daily complications with this I still serve my community as a first responder, and I compete as an adaptive athlete in CrossFit. When my condition progressed, I came across VBF and got in touch with doctors and fellow people with my condition. Seeing the Global Ambassador stories inspired me to develop the approach I have with my condition and that is why I believe strongly I was born with this condition, so I can bring awareness and show the world “If I can, you can too.”
I was born with venous malformation but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 4. I have had around 30 surgeries since then (and still counting). I have had 2 hemangioma surgeries as well. My birthmark is on my left leg and my hemangiomas are on the top right of my lip. I live in Idaho but have to travel to California for treatment.
I’ve had a large birthmark on my left leg since I was born in ’93, but I wasn’t diagnosed with KT Syndrome until 2012, when my pain started. Since then I discovered the VBF, which has been instrumental in getting me help with experts on my condition. As a global ambassador, I hope to get that same help to others in the Vascular Birthmark community that may not be aware of the VBF, and would greatly benefit from their resources, as I and many others have.
Shortly after I was born my parents noticed a birthmark appearing across the right side of my face, eyelid and scalp. I was diagnosed with a segmental hemangioma. My mother found the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation and researched all the options for my care. At 4 months old I started laser surgeries at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
I continued with laser treatments at Seattle Children’s Hospital until just before my 3rd birthday, I had a final laser treatment at Beckman Laser Institute in California.
Even though I don’t remember my birthmark journey, I am so grateful for the VBF and the resources they provide to families. I enjoy volunteering at the VBF conferences. I want to help spread awareness and be supportive of others with vascular birthmark stories.
My daughter Madeleine was born with a little pink patch on her left upper arm. I did a lot of my own research and found it to be a mixed hemangioma. It started to grow, the red got brighter and more raised, her arm had a bulge and was blue all the way round as if she had been bruised. We finally got a referral from our GP and at 6 months given an appointment to great Ormond street in London. We went for our appointment and started on Propranolol. Madeleine has also always had a patchy right arm. And at the age of 11 months after seeing Dr. Glover now have a diagnosis of a capillary malformation. Along with this she also has a stork bite on the back of her neck and a blood disorder (which isn’t linked to any of her birthmarks). I have spent hours and hours researching vascular birthmarks and feel that in the UK there isn’t enough information available. I want to be able to help spread awareness! I wish I had found someone earlier in our birthmark journey. I feel that people with birthmarks are not always accepted as well as someone without a birthmark, but I do feel this is because many people do not know anything about them. I didn’t, until my daughter was born with one. I want to use my spare time to raise awareness and acceptance for people with all types of vascular birthmarks, and to let people know about VBF and the hard work and support they give to not only the US but also the UK and every other country where people are seeking advice and help. Birthmarks are beautiful! They are not imperfections they are perfections.
I was born with a large port wine stain birthmark over my right eye. I love my birthmark and how unique it makes me. In fact, I really never noticed my birthmark until people would ask me about it in elementary school. Recently— as an adult, my birthmark has started thickening and weighing down my eyelid. I met an amazing dermatologist and we have begun a series of laser treatments on my birthmark for the health of my eye. I completed treatment number 4 in August and will have another series this winter. Please reach out, I am happy to answer any questions you may have!
Hi everyone! My name is Nicole I’m 24 years old and I was born with a Port Wine Stain birthmark on the right side of my face. Ever since I was a couple of days old I have been getting laser treatments on a consistent basis and continue to do so. Laser treatments have become a normal part of my life and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. It is my experience with being a life long patient that has drawn me towards the medical field and wanting to help others as a Registered Nurse. I strive not to let what people say about my birthmark effect how I feel about myself and to instead use it as an opportunity to educate and increase awareness. I want to promote supporting one another and embracing all the unique things that make us all different but even more beautiful!