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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 (VBARS) all while cultivating a supportive community. This network is comprised of people living with a vascular birthmark, as well as friends and family members who have a loved one affected by VBARS. 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 and spreading awareness about VBARS, while supporting the mission of the VBF. Our committees consist of Regional & Virtual Meet Ups, Awareness, Fundraising, Ask/Accept Anti-Bullying, and the Parent Advocacy Network. The VBF Global Ambassador Program supports the VBF mission, provides helpful resources to our network, and amplifies Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon’s vision.

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
scott@birthmark.org

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Samantha Lemanske, United States, Kansas

Evelyn Grace, our 19-month-old daughter was born at 34 weeks due to preeclampsia. She came into this world with a fight and a 17 day stay in the NICU at Overland Park Regional in Overland Park, KS. Evelyn’s doctor was sure it was just brushing from her traumatic birth. A few days later, her father and I were told the news that it was a Port Wine Stain birthmark. We were shocked, as we had never heard of a such thing before that moment. Evelyn was soon tested for Sturge-Weber Syndrome and possibly blindness in her left eye and waiting on the results seemed like forever. Thankfully enough, Evelyn was cleared of any further complications. Days went by, we left the NICU and was referred to a Dermatologist to talk about laser option, this was intimidating. Her Dermatologist recommended 4-6 treatments for her PWS to fade over the next few years. Here we are 5 treatments in and still have little to no fading on Evelyn’s cheek. We get looks, questions and comments while in public, which eat away at me considering Evelyn has no idea what is being said and just can’t help but smile back. We have learned to ignore the comments and just remember how special she truly is. We will continue our journey with treatments.

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Samantha Potter, United States, Rhode Island

I have a Port Wine Stain Birthmark on my left cheek, under my nose, on my lip, chin and neck. I underwent 10 years of Pulse Dye Laser Treatments and four years of Versa Plus Laser Treatments – fading some of my marks. My marks loves to change colors depending on my mood or if I’m cold; its my permanent mood ring.

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Sarah Outram, Canada, None

Hello All! Like many of you, I was born with a port-wine stain birthmark on my face and neck – but that does not define me, just as one difference you have from others does not define you. I have worn makeup, had laser surgeries, been mocked and been loved.

When I was born, the doctor told my mother I had Sturge Weber Syndrome, and would not live past the age of three. Well, I am now 26 and plan to use my time in the best ways I can. Wishing you well!

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Sarah VanDyne, United States, Ohio

Like so many others, my VM was misdiagnosed as an hemangioma when I was a child and we were encouraged to do nothing because “it would go away”. I sought treatment again as a teen and underwent my first surgery during which a plastic surgeon attempted sclerotherapy and went on later to do laser treatments without much success. My team of doctors encouraged me to stop pursuing treatment because it was too risky and I was “still pretty” despite my malformation.

Roughly ten years later I discovered the VBF and it has totally changed my life. Finally getting answers, finding such a beautiful community, and now beginning treatment with a vascular birthmark professional, I can’t express enough how thankful I am. This organization is saving lives.

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Sarah Woodhouse, United States, New York

I’m Sarah, 31, and live in New York with my three children and husband. I have a PWS covering over 50% of my body. When I was younger I was severely bullied because of my birthmark. While not an easy experience, I used the fuel to ignite my personal journey in speaking out against bullying, as well as being an advocate to others in need. While I did have several laser treatments at a young age when in 8th grade I decided against further treatment and came to fully accept and love myself both inside and out. While I’m currently a stay at home mom with my young children, I dream of doing advocacy work, spreading a message of self-love and body positivity and one day writing a children’s book to address these issues. The first step in my journey is connecting and being a resource for others on a similar journey. I want to give parents and children hope that you can come out of this medical journey with confidence, a strong spirit and appreciation for life.

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Savannah Raye Hash, United States, Kentucky

Hi! My name is Savannah. I was born in Lexington KY in 1986 with a Port Wine Stain Birthmark on the left side of my face. I had an amazing upbringing with unconditional love and support from my family and a select few friends who never looked at or treated me any different from the others.

Early on in school I was mocked and ridiculed for having a PWS. It made it hard to maintain my mental happiness. I remember as early as age 3 strangers asking me if I had been beaten or if I had a rash. It crushed me every time. I had my first surgery at 2.

The doctor used the laser and had it set way to high for me. He burned my temple which cause pain and humiliation for many years and I ended up have plastic surgery at age 4 to correct the damage he had caused. I have struggled mentally with having a birthmark my whole life until I turned 30 when I realized I AM beautiful inside and out!

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Scott Cupples, United States, New Jersey

I am Scott Cupples, Global Ambassador Program Manager. I have lived my entire life with an untreated Port Wine Stain vascular birthmark until starting treatments in 2018 (thanks to VBF). Of course there have been times where my birthmark has made me feel insecure, but I’ve always had the mentality that it will never keep me from accomplishing what I want in life. In addition to my role at VBF, I work in corporate finance and serve in the Air National Guard as a Senior Master Sergeant. My goal with VBF is to help as many families as possible who are affected by vascular birthmarks, and to continuously spread awareness.

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Sevastiani Leftherioti, Greece, None

I’ve recently signed up to become a VBF Global Ambassador.

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Shae Freeman, United States, Arizona

My 16 year old son DeVion was born with Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome to his upper body. His younger years were full of constant hospitalizatikns and surgeries, amputations, blood transfusions, ect. We have been blessed in the past with help through the VBF and have continuously helped others as well in our journey!

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Sharon Raccio, United States, Connecticut

My son Michael has a Port Wine Stain birthmark. He has received many laser treatments since he was 3 months old. I would like to help spread as much awareness about it as I can, which will eventually lead to more acceptance. When I speak about my son and his birthmark it is somewhat like therapy for me. It has been very emotional. I want to help anyone going through the same feelings as I am. I made a personalized book all about Michael and read it to his classmates before a laser surgery. It has been so helpful. Please contact me and I would love to share it with you!

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