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

Samantha Potter, United States (US), Rhode Island

I have a Port Wine Stain Birthmark on my left cheek, under my nose, on my lip, chin and neck. I underwent 10 years of Pulse Dye Laser Treatments and four years of Versa Plus Laser Treatments – fading some of my marks. My marks loves to change colors depending on my mood or if I’m cold; its my permanent mood ring.

Sarah Woodhouse, United States (US), New York

I’m Sarah, 31, and live in New York with my three children and husband. I have a PWS covering over 50% of my body. When I was younger I was severely bullied because of my birthmark. While not an easy experience, I used the fuel to ignite my personal journey in speaking out against bullying, as well as being an advocate to others in need. While I did have several laser treatments at a young age when in 8th grade I decided against further treatment and came to fully accept and love myself both inside and out. While I’m currently a stay at home mom with my young children, I dream of doing advocacy work, spreading a message of self-love and body positivity and one day writing a children’s book to address these issues. The first step in my journey is connecting and being a resource for others on a similar journey. I want to give parents and children hope that you can come out of this medical journey with confidence, a strong spirit and appreciation for life.

Scott Cupples, United States (US), New Jersey

I am Scott Cupples, Lead Ambassador of the VBF Global Ambassador Team. I have lived my entire life with an untreated Port Wine Stain vascular birthmark up until starting treatments last year (thanks to VBF). Of course there have been times where my birthmark has made me feel insecure, but I’ve always had the mentality that it will never keep me from accomplishing what I want in life. In addition to my role at VBF, I work in corporate finance and serve in the Air National Guard as a First Sergeant. My goal with VBF is to help as many families as possible who are affected by vascular birthmarks, and to continuously spread awareness.

Shae Freeman, United States (US), Arizona

My 16 year old son DeVion was born with Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome to his upper body. His younger years were full of constant hospitalizatikns and surgeries, amputations, blood transfusions, ect. We have been blessed in the past with help through the VBF and have continuously helped others as well in our journey!

Sharon Raccio, United States (US), Connecticut

My son Michael has a Port Wine Stain birthmark. He has received many laser treatments since he was 3 months old. I would like to help spread as much awareness about it as I can, which will eventually lead to more acceptance. When I speak about my son and his birthmark it is somewhat like therapy for me. It has been very emotional. I want to help anyone going through the same feelings as I am. I made a personalized book all about Michael and read it to his classmates before a laser surgery. It has been so helpful. Please contact me and I would love to share it with you!

Shelby Mitchell, United States (US), Pennsylvania

Hello! My name is Shelby & I am the mother of Fallon! Fallon was born with an infantile hemangioma – which is why she has the nickname “Strawberry Shortcake!”. No one in our family has ever had a hemangioma (that we know of!) and we were unsure of what is was and how to care for it. After speaking with her specialist at a children’s hospital we found out some amazing facts about hemangiomas! Now, we spread awareness around our community and have made new friends that have or have children with hemangiomas! We carry pamphlets of information & hand them out to those who stare or ask questions! We love teaching about them!

Shelby Wilson, United States (US), Texas

I was born with a PWS on the right side of my face. I have had several laser treatments, but stopped having them regularly when I was younger. It’s always made me unique and I wouldn’t trade it!

Shelly Hewitt, United States (US), Colorado

I was born with my port wine stain. About 2 years ago I developed a lump under it, and was told it was a lipoma. Went to a general surgeon to have it removed, he refused and wanted and MRI. At that point I found out I had an AVM. I have had it embolized 3 time with black onyx, but it kept growing back.

At this point I have had 2 ethanol embolization with Dr. Yakes. It definitely has not been easy, but I find great strength in my kids. The amount of pain I live with daily is unreal. I never imagined it would develop into something else. I have always been asked about abuse and people saying that I have a red bloch on my back, then having to explain that it’s a port wine stain and I was born with it.

Stacy Celestin, United States (US), Florida

Hi my name is Stacy and I am 32 years old and lived with port wine stain my entire life. I suffer from earlier morning flare ups and emotional swelling, unaligned spaced out teeth, bad gums on my right side. After entering the adult world I learned to embrace who I am and love the skin that I am in. Kids would make fun of me I’d shy away from the world to avoid anyone noticing that my face was not aligned or swollen on certain days. Today my goal is to reach out to every person who has PWS and tell them how beautiful they are inside and out. Nothing more matters then what is on the inside.

Stacy Ilia, Greece

I am Stacy from Greece. I have a 16 year old daughter with KTS and DVT. She only had symptoms last April, unfortunately with PE. I want to help people to accept their rare disease and doctors learn about it.