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

Reset

Nicola Andrews, United Kingdom (UK)

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.

Nicole Conner, United States (US), Minnesota

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!

Nicole Hajjar, United States (US), Massachusetts

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!

Nicte Barragán, Mexico, Jalisco

Niharika Mishra, United States (US), Texas

I have a port wine stain on my right cheek and upper right lip. When I was growing up I got curious about my mark and my father told me that I am kissed by God before sending me down to them. That was enough to love my mark.

I am lucky enough to not have any bullying story, though I have been asked some strange questions about my mark.

Noella Angel, Australia, South Australia

I was born with a rare vascular malformation called klippel trenaunay syndrome that affects my right leg.

From my condition, I live with muscles contractions, shortening of my leg a fused ankle, nerve damage and lots more. However, horses have always been the one thing that has adapted to me as things changed, and the one think that has kept me sane.

I’ve been riding since I was two, but over time it took a back seat to health and treatments. As time progressed, I rode more and more. I went through the pony club levels to reach my K certificate, then became a part of the RDA. Later in life, I became an independent rider which led time to Para Dressage. It’s my dream to ride overseas for Australia and use my competition to promote and raise awareness of KTS and AVM, and show others that no matter what you are given you can keep going, and make the most of it. Riding is a freedom that cannot be explained – the horse gives me the legs I lack.

Noella Angel, Australia, South Australia

I was born with a rare vascular malformation called klippel trenaunay syndrome that affects my right leg and from 95 embolisation – 79 of these embolisations where done in the USA, my family had traveled there 18 times over 8 years, we lived there for two and traveled for the rest – these where testing time on my amazing mum, who had shear determination to get her daughter healthy.

Now from theses treatments I’ve ended up with muscles contractions, shortening of the leg and a fused ankle, nerve damage and lots more but horses have always been the one thing that has adapted to me as things changed, the one think that has kept me sane and at times drive me mad!

I’ve been riding since I was 2 and over the time of travel it took a back seat to health and treatments then as time progresses and a small bump couldn’t kill me, I rode more and more. I went through the pony club levels to K certificate and was also apart of RDA at later times as an independent rider, this led time to Para Dressage. I became a grade 5 Para rider in 2012 and have been come up the level a ever since and well I’m not your typicle Para Equestrian I’ve ridden in all types of competitions including: dressage, showjumping, eventing, campdrfting, stockmans challenge and lots more.

It’s my dream to ride overseas for Australia and use my competition to promote and raise awareness of KTS and AVM and show others that no matter what you are given you can keep going and make the most of it.

Riding is a freedom, that can not be explained – the horse gives me the legs I lack

Olga Bachuk, Russia

I was born with Port Wine Stain in my face and now I try to help families with children affected by vascular birthmarks and syndromes.
My support groups consist of a social network of over 5,000 members.
In 2010, I wrote a message to Linda Rozell-Shannon and she suggested that I become the VBF Representative in Russia! I’m so proud to be a part of VBF and to make a difference!

Oliva Childs, United States (US), New Jersey

My name is Olivia Childs, and I have Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome on my right leg. I was misdiagnosed for the first four years of my life before a pediatric dermatologist sent me to Dr. Robert Rosen.

I am 14 now and have had 24 sclerotherapy treatments with him, at Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC. I have also had three additional orthopedic surgeries for my right knee and my leg discrepancy, which was related to my KTS.

Throughout my life, I have faced discrimination because of my challenges, but I never let it get to me. With the help of the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation, I have been able to meet many other girls around my age who have similar cases as I do. VBF has helped me find a much needed support group. I want to be able to spread awareness about VBF as a Global Ambassador, and about KTS in general, so that other patients can be supported like I was.

Paige Harkabus, United States (US), Illinois

Hi! I was born with a Port Wine Stain birthmark covering 45% of my right leg from hip to toe. Luckily, my mother worked at a hospital and knew many doctors, so I was treated with amazing care since birth. I’ve had countless surgeries and treatments to help with pain, swelling, and appearance. Since being aware of VBF, I have begun educating myself about my legs and people who live with similar experiences. Raising awareness and acceptance is something I can’t wait to become a part of!