The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

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The Global Ambassadors are a network of advocates for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation who work together to raise awareness about vascular birthmarks, anomalies, and related syndromes all while cultivating a supportive community. We are organized into five fundamental committees, which are led by members of the VBF Global Ambassador Council. Our council is composed of the most active advocates within the Global Ambassador program who donate extra commitment time towards maintaining program engagement. Each committee initiative serves the purpose of expanding our reach together to those within our birthmark community as well as to those unaffected. Our committees consist of Regional & Virtual Meet Ups, Awareness, Fundraising, Ask/Accept Anti-Bullying, and the Parent Advocacy Network. The Global Ambassador Program demonstrates VBF’s incredible mission, provides helpful resources to our network, and highlights Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon’s vision through each step of the way. 

Regional and Virtual Meet Ups organizes, facilitates, and encourages members of the VBF Global Ambassador community to connect through channels beyond social media such as Zoom meetings or in person local meet ups. 

Fundraising helps our community raise funds for VBF through online and in person events which goes towards our mission of networking those affected by a vascular birthmark, anomaly or related syndrome (VBARS) to the appropriate medical professionals for evaluation and possible treatment.

Awareness is designed to help educate, spread VBF resources as well as expand the VBF Global Ambassador program by connecting Ambassadors with areas of interest in the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation network.

Ask/Accept Anti-Bullying promotes a ‘Bully-Free’ zone and will raise awareness in regards to handling bullying, acceptance and provide support within the community.

Parent Advocacy Network is a safe space created to help navigate the journey for parents and families with children affected by VBARS.

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

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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 Wuergler, Brazil, São Paulo

My name is Vanessa and I was born with a Port Wine Stain birthmark on both legs, my right arm and parts of my torso. Due to being misdiagnosed at birth (my parents were told it would fade over time), I did not start laser treatments until I was six years old. I received over 75 treatments within 6-7 years with only small improvements. After developing skin ulcers (and ultimately had a skin graft) from severe scarring on my shins – I decided to stop all treatment. However, a few years ago, I began laser treatments once again and have seen some great results!

Growing up, I dealt with low self-esteem and so many insecurities. Now, as an adult, I am learning to love my birthmark and have found strength and positivity in my uniqueness. I am so excited to help raise awareness for VBF and vascular birthmarks!

Veronica Bedolla, United States (US), Texas

Vince Ragucci, United States (US), Delaware

Growing up with a port wine stain was never easy. It was confusing and challenging, as I didn’t quite understand why I was different or why this red patch on my neck and cheek became darker every year and grew in size. I received laser treatments up until I was 10, then stopped treatment for 10 years. My port wine stain became hypertrophic, growing in size on my cheek and thickening. After seeking treatment again, I discovered the VBF and Dr. Gregory Levitin. This discovery and doctor have changed my life. One thing that must be stressed is monitor changes in your PWS and maintenance is so so important.

Vincent Ragucci, United States (US), Delaware

Growing up with a port wine stain was never easy. It was confusing and challenging, as I didn’t quite understand why I was different or why this red patch on my neck and cheek became darker every year and grew in size. I received laser treatments up until I was 10, then halted treatment for 10 years. My port wine stain became hypertrophic, growing in size on my cheek and thickening. After seeking treatment again, I discovered the VBF and Dr. Gregory Levitin. This discovery and doctor have changed my life. One thing that must be stressed is monitor changes in your PWS and maintenance is so so important.

WÅ‚adyszewska, Anna, Poland

I was born 26 years ago with a port wine stain on my face. As a kid I’ve experienced a lot of bullying which caused me to isolate myself a lot from others even while hiding my birthmark under the make-up. I’ve been covering it very precisely and have been very stressful about it. Several laser treatments I received as a teenager gave no visible results.

For a while, I was battling depression and anxiety. A year ago, I decided to go in public without makeup for the first time in 14 years. I felt amazing! I was showing my birthmark to more and more people a started to openly talk about it. I’ve also started meeting people with vascular birthmarks from my country. Myself and others here in Poland feel spreading the awareness and tolerance is extremely needed in regards to vascular birthmarks!

Yajaira Morales, United States (US), California

Hello, my name Yajaira Morales, my nickname is Yaya, and I was born with a birthmark that covers my whole left side of my body. It was very difficult in school with a lot of bullying. Growing up was very hard for me, but over the years I learned to love myself and who I am. Now I am happily married, have two wonderful daughters, and a career as a veterinary technician. My new passion now is to help others like me to tell them it going to be ok, and that we are beautiful and much more than our birthmarks.

Yetty Williams, United Kingdom (UK)

My name is Yetunde Williams. I was born with a Port wine stain and have lived my life with this on my face all my life to date. I am very blessed that I was not bullied growing up and didn’t feel very different thanks to how I was raised and the friends that I have. While it is always there and I am very aware of it, I do realise that it is important to have a community to support you especially when you look different. I am happy to have found VBF and would be happy to offer support to other people and parents who have children with various birthmarks.

Zainab Eid, Egypt

I am Zainab From Egypt. I was born with a Port Wine Stain birthmark on my face, and with a swollen lower lip. People always thought that maybe my mark was due to an accident or burning, and always asked me why my lip was so big. After telling them that it is a gift from God and he create me like that and I love his creation of me, they changed their minds and concentrated on my personality. My birthmark doesn’t prevent me from doing whatever I want to do, and it makes me a lovely person. Thank you to VBF, for helping me understand my birthmark, I’m really happy to spread the awareness as an Ambassador. VBF gives hope to me to treat my birthmark, without fearing of side effect distortions.