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.

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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Razle Jabelo, Philippines

Hi my name is Razle, I have PWS covering almost all of the left side of my body. Ever since I found a group that deals with birthmarks, I have become more eager to learn about it and much more interested into how many others who have birthmarks handle theirs, as well as what treatment their doctors use. I have never been treated once my entire life. However, I learn to appreciate mine, and am considering not to undergo any kind of treatment at all. Nevertheless, I used my situation to teach kids to become more respectful, as I am a teacher. I know what it is like to be stared at with critical eyes, and I just want to help make a difference.

Rebecca Gallis, United States (US), Ohio

My granddaughter (who calls me Mom) was diagnosed with KTS at birth. This was changed to CMTC (Cutis Marmorata Telangiectatica Congenita) at 18 months. She later had Proteus added to the list of her conditions and was diagnosed most recently at the age of 11 with CLOVES. When she was born I returned to school to earn my nursing degree and am currently her private-duty nurse. As a registered nurse, I’ve had the opportunity to assist parents/patients with the understanding and interpretation of medical terminology regarding their individual case. As the president of the Global CMTC-OVM US Organization, I have shared in the connection of bringing patients and their families together with experienced physicians in their search for answers. We believe, “We’re all a little rare; but, when we fall into mutual rareness…We Call It A Family!

Rebecca Streckfuss, United States (US), Arizona

In 2018, my child was diagnosed with an inter-muscular venous malformation. Initially, our family was not able to find proper treatment, or doctors with extensive knowledge. Thankfully, we came across VBF on social media.

The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation has been pivotal and life changing in the treatment and eradication of our daughters recently diagnosed medical condition. My goal as a parent is to help spread the word to other parents and patients, as well as those around me to help bring awareness and education.

Our family loves being part of the VBF community!

Rebecca Streckfuss, United States (US), Arizona

Olivia Grace’s Venous Malformation Journey:

Our 8 year old daughter was diagnosed with an intramuscular venous malformation in her thigh last year. We have been actively seeking out others for help. Her journey of faith and perseverance has lead us to VBF, and we are encouraged with what her future holds #Hope

Retha Botha, South Africa

I’m Retha Botha, a 47yr old mother, wife, Private Nurse Practitioner and I have a port-wine stain birthmark on the right side of my face. My aim is to increase awareness in South Africa regarding treatment available to patients and to work for patients’ rights to be treated. Also, I would like to encourage doctors to increase their knowledge regarding Vascular Brithmarks. Vascular birthmarks need to be recognised by medical aids as a medical condition, that needs treatment and to change the perception and legislation, that it is a cosmetic treatment. We as patients are born this way and we didn’t choose to have a vascular birthmark. I encourage my birthmark buddies to contact me, we can assist each other in dealing with the challenges that we face in South Africa. I am a mother who’s heart is broken for children who are bullied and called names. My goal is to assist my buddies to deal with every day coping and living with a birthmark.

Rif Sleiman Jad Assi, Lebanon

My son Jade-Luccas was born with a facial birthmark (Port Wine Stain). We visited a few dermatologists in the Mea and they all agreed it will lighten by the time he turns 7. Luccas started seeing himself in the mirror, and would try to wipe off his birthmark and ask why it was still there. In school, he was bullied. We started to research doctors around the world, and found the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation and Dr. Linda helped us! We decided to write a book and shed light on raising awareness regarding birthmarks, and increasing social awareness in the Middle East towards accepting others and tolerance.

Ritika Malhotra, India, Delhi

I am born in New Delhi, India. For few years I was not even aware that the red spot on my face was a birthmark, and neither were my parents. The doctor told my parents that It will vanish over time but it did not. In India, it is not very common to have a vascular birthmark so I have spent whole my life explaining people that was not the result of an accident, but something I am born with. There are no treatments available here for these birthmarks, so most of us are just living with it. I found one clinic in Delhi which has pulse dye laser and it’s been a year since I’ve started treatment. I have realized after starting the treatment that we should accept ourselves and I want to embrace my mark. It took me a lot of effort to find my inner peace!

Robert Griggs, United States (US), Georgia

I’ve been teased and made fun of my whole life. Children and adults have run away from me, laughed or smirked, and made comments such as someone beat him up, he was burned, etc. I have made it my mission in life to not judge people by their appearance. I have worked my entire career as a paramedic helping others .

Rowanne Simpson, United Kingdom (UK)

Hi! My name is Rowanne, I’m 22 and I was born with a port wine stain birthmark on my chest, shoulder and right arm.

From an early age, I realised that I looked different due to how other children and their parents interacted with me. For example, people thinking I had a contagious disease which would then affect my self esteem.

This lead to me getting laser treatment, over several years, which did not work in my experience.

However, due to my laser treatment not working, I had to learn to love my birthmark. As I have grown older, people have become more understanding of visible differences.

I finally feel confident about my birthmark, I actually forget it’s there until someone asks about it or I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror!

I don’t mind when people ask about my birthmark, there is nothing wrong with curiosity but always be polite and please don’t stare!

It has been a journey, but now I hope to share some positivity, and help others see the beauty in their birthmarks too!

Sabrina Rahmi Adiyar, Indonesia

Hello! My name is Sabrina and I have port wine stain birthmark on my cheek and chin. When I was a child, neither my parents nor I know what kind of birthmark that is so we didn’t do any treatment. But when I started college, we went to dermatologist and I surprised to know that the treatment cost so high, so I choose to not to do it.

When I was in elementary school, I experienced some bullying because of my mark. They mocked me as if I used a lot of lipstick. Growing up with little self confidence, my biggest fear is when I have to meet new people and adapting to a new environment. I also have a lot of worries how if nobody would accept me when it’s the time I have to enter professional world and looking for a job.

Seeing VBF Community, I read many people who have the same stories supporting each other and it really encourage me. I do really hope that I could meet everyone in person someday!