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 – create a Birthday Fundraiser and get some awesome VBF Global Ambassador swag!
  • 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.

NEWSLETTERS

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

Search Our Ambassadors

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Mikaela Battaglia, United States (US), Pennsylvania

Hey y’all! My name is Mikaela. I have dealt with my birthmark ups & downs my entire life. I had laser treatments from the time I was a baby to the age of 14. I really struggled with loving myself & finding my own sense of confidence for a long long time. I would spend 2-3 hours DAILY covering my birthmark with makeup, and avoid any activities that didn’t allow me to wear makeup. I hid my PWS for a long time, before finally taking a make-up free selfie for social media.

I made the decision that I did not want to be held back in life all because of what people may (or may not) think of me. I am me, I am beautiful and I have a story and a purpose to share with the world. I am happily married, love baking, and also spend a lot of time making art that spreads awareness about VBF.

Mikayla Patava, Austria

I was born with a large internal hemangioma under my right eye. I spent most of my early years seeing specialists and having corrective surgery to stop me going cross-eyed. I never really felt like I could communicate with anyone my age or older about my hemangioma because no one really understood. I want to be that person for others now that I am in my 20s. Although my hemangioma is almost unnoticeable now, it still impacts my everyday life. I get extreme pain in my eye almost everyday, so I would love to help others that go through the same experiences I do. 

Molly Broadus, United States (US), Kentucky

Our daughter Hadley is 6 months old. When she was born her right eye was swollen shut and had red markings on her eye lid and forehead, we were told it was just bruising and the way she was positioned. The next day a neonatal doctor informed us about Sturge Weber Syndrome and that her eye could possibly be bulging due to glaucoma. Hadley was 3 days old when she arrived at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, I will never forget sobbing in the exam chair as her ophthalmologist tried examining her swollen eye. He believed that she had a hemangioma in her eyelid and her eye looked healthy with slight pressure. Days later she was in surgery for a biopsy and about 2 months ago she received an orbitonomy to remove as much of the mass as they could. Hadley has a rare vascular tumor that expanded from her eyelid all the way to her skull along with the most beautiful port wine stain. She continues to be monitored by doctors and will start her laser treatments soon. As of today she does not have a clear diagnosis.

Before Hadley I had never seen or noticed a port wine stain nor heard of the term hemangioma. I currently teach first grade and taught special education prior. I received my Masters Degree in moderate and severe disabilities, not once heard about Sturge Weber Syndrome. My world has changed for the better and am blessed with the sweetest girl. The first few months with Hadley I felt alone and afraid. I am forever grateful for this foundation which has supported my family and I in so many ways.

Moran Barzam, Israel

My daughter was born with PWS in her right hand, back & chest. We started the laser treatment when she was 3 weeks old. When she was 2 months old, her right hand became bigger then her left hand and after some tests they told us that she has a lymphedema problem in here hand.

Morgan Arrowsmith, United States (US), Georgia

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.

Morgan Lytle, United States (US), South Carolina

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.

Morgan Stonefelt, United States (US), California

For nearly 30 years of my life I was unaware that the vascular malformation on my left leg had a name, or that there were others with similar stories and experiences. It wasn’t until I found the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation, that I learned that I was born with Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome affecting my left leg.

I am fortunate that KTS has not prevented me from living an active and wonderful life, although it is something that is a part of my everyday experience. I think my birthmark makes me unique and I hope that I can share that message with others. It is an honor to be an Ambassador for VBF.

Morgan White, United States (US), Idaho

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.

Nathan Watkins, United States (US), Texas

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.

Nicholas Barinaga, United States (US), Washington

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.