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.

NEWSLETTER

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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Tammy Morris, United States (US), Alaska

Hi! I’m Tammy Morris. My daughter Vivienne is 2.5 years old and was born with a port wine stain on the left side of her face. When she was born I initially didn’t realize it was a port wine stain – the pediatrician was the one to confirm it. New mother emotions had me very worried about how others would treat her and how she would feel about herself. I was quick to search port wine stains on the internet, and one of the first sites I found was www.birthmark.org. I read about laser treatments on the stain and how it helped many others. Before I could even say anything about treatment, our regular pediatrician had been in contact with a local pediatric dermatologist, and they recommend laser treatments. Vivienne had her first treatment when she was only 2 months old. She has had regular treatments, scans and ophthalmology check-ups. We are happy to report, at this time that no other condition have been detected in conjunction with her stain. I am so thankful for all that VBF does. We love helping others by spreading awareness, and VBF has been a great tool in raising awareness with those around us.

Tammy Morris,

Hi! I’m Tammy Morris. My daughter Vivienne is 2.5 years old and was born with a port wine stain on the left side of her face. When she was born I initially didn’t realize it was a port wine stain – the pediatrician was the one to confirm it. New mother emotions had me very worried about how others would treat her and how she would feel about herself. I was quick to search port wine stains on the internet, one of the first sites I found was The VBF website. I read about laser treatments on the stain and how it helped many others. Before I could even say anything about treatment, our regular pediatrician had been in contact with a local pediatric dermatologist. Vivienne had her first laser treatment when she was only 2 months old. Vivienne has had regular treatments, scans and ophthalmology check-ups. We are happy to report, at this time, nothing more has been detected in conjunction with her stain.

I am so thankful for all the good The VBF does. We love helping others be aware and VBF has been a great tool in raising awareness with those around us.

Tanisha Durgut, United States (US), Indiana

From birth I noticed these red spots I believe were due to trauma from my C-section. Both of my twin daughters have hemangiomas. Twin A having the largest one on her neck. Twin B never bothered her and are small enough to never cause concern. My daughter, Twin A, hemangioma on her neck began to ulcerate when she was 9 months old. Through our family doctor and now two different dermatologist it has started healing with starting propranolol and laser dye treatments. I’ve very thankful for the vascular birthmarks community for the knowledge on vascular birthmarks like hemangiomas and hope I can be of support to others.

Taylor Hoover, United States (US), Nebraska

Colson is 11 months old with a PWS that covers his face, as well as the whole left side of his body, down to his toes! He has been diagnosed with Sturge Weber Syndrome and Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome. After he was born, we left the hospital knowing little to nothing , other than he had a birthmark. When he was hospitalized at just six weeks old, we then started getting the answers we needed. Almost one year later, multiple seizures, one surgery, one procedure, several medications, Neurologists, Dermatologists, Ophthalmologists, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, ENT, and Genetics, and we are on our way to creating the best possible outcome of life we can provide for him! . Everyday is living in the unknown, but everyday I am thankful for our journey thus far. He is an absolute blessing and the strongest person I know. He is my HERO!

Tim Russell, United States (US), Michigan

I’m 42 years old, and my PWS birthmarks cover 75% of my body. I used to struggle with having them until I was 14. Since then I’ve embraced them. I love standing out, and letting people know I don’t care. My kids friends think I’m awesome. They love coming over and hanging out with me. I joined the Ambassadors to let people know that it is okay to be different.

Tracy Moreno, United States (US), California

Growing up with a birthmark wasn’t easy. I was teased a lot, and it made me self-conscious. Over the years, I grew to love my birthmark which plays a big role in becoming an Ambassador. I want to show others who have vascular birthmarks that it’s okay to be different, and to be proud of what makes us unique!

Trina Constable, Canada, British Columbia

This is Jersie who just turned 5 years old! She was born with a vascular hemangioma on her right shoulder. Although she doesn’t quite understand what is on her shoulder, she does get quite upset when people make rude comments about it. Our hope is to educate people. We welcome positive questions instead of comments like ‘ewe that’s gross,’ or ‘why don’t you just remove it,’ or ‘It’s a shame you’d wear a tank top on her considering it could so easily be covered.’ Our hope for Jersie is that she never feels ashamed or bullied because of her vascular birthmark.

Trista Burke, United States (US), Massachusetts

When Gavyn was first born, the pediatrician at the hospital told my husband and me that the redness on his face and head wasn’t bruising from the delivery, but was a Port-Wine Stain Birthmark. She gave us a quick overview but wanted to wait to talk to his normal pediatrician and go from there. That evening we did our own research and learned that every birthmark is individually unique, just like the person who is born with it.

Some birthmarks are small, some are large; some can be dark, some can be light. Depending on where the birthmark is, it can cause other medical issues. One main medical concern with Gavyn’s birthmark, since part of it is over his eye, is that he can develop glaucoma. We see an ophthalmologist every year to be proactive regarding this concern.

Another concern was the psychological effects Gavyn’s birthmark could have on him as he grew older. Would kids bully him because he is different? We didn’t know if he would wear his birthmark as a badge of honor or if it would make him self-conscious. After consulting with a few dermatologists, my husband and I decided that laser treatments to help reduce the redness of Gavyn’s birthmark would be best for him. Four years later, I’m really glad that we made the decision we did.

In March 2016 Gavyn had his first laser treatment. Both my husband and I were nervous wrecks the whole 20 minutes he was having the procedure done. Over the course of the rest of the year, Gavyn underwent five more treatments. Each one was easier than the last, except the final one. He was 18 months old at that point, and I think by then he became more aware of what was going on. We were happy with the results and came to the conclusion that if he wants to have more laser treatments in the future, it would be up to him.

Valerie Beckstrand, United States (US), Utah

My daughter (Chloe) was born with various venous malformations including a large PWS across her chest and right arm. We’ve done the best we can with our doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital, and Chloe is doing well despite her challenges. After numerous rounds of sclerotherapy, she’s left with microcystic hygromas and other various venous malformations. I’m thrilled to find this foundation and hope to connect with others!

Vanessa Guizzetti, Canada, Ontario

My name is Vanessa and my daughter, Loriana, has a PWS on the right side of her face. Being a first-time mom can be overwhelming on its own, but spending the first sleepless week of my baby’s life researching everything I could about vascular birthmarks made it even more difficult. Thankfully it did not take long to find the VBF and many support groups on Facebook. Every person I communicated with made my PWS journey a little more manageable. While I’m no expert, and still learning more everyday, I would love to give back to the vascular birthmark community in any way I can. I’ve started a Facebook group for families in Ontario and am looking forward to connecting with others in my area.