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.
- VBF Global Ambassador Facebook Group. With almost 800 members!
- Vascular Birthmarks Awareness Video on TV. Airs nationally on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service).
- Global Ambassador Awareness Video Project. Question and Answer with VBF Global Ambassadors.
- Global Ambassador Training. Required training for all VBF Global Ambassadors.
- Volunteer Release. Required release for all VBF Global Ambassadors.
- Want to learn more about the VBF Global Ambassadors? For any questions or feedback, please contact:
Director, VBF Global Ambassador Program
Search Our Ambassadors
Shelby Mitchell, United States, Pennsylvania
Hello! My name is Shelby & I am the mother of Fallon! Fallon was born with an infantile hemangioma – which is why she has the nickname “Strawberry Shortcake!”. No one in our family has ever had a hemangioma (that we know of!) and we were unsure of what is was and how to care for it. After speaking with her specialist at a children’s hospital we found out some amazing facts about hemangiomas! Now, we spread awareness around our community and have made new friends that have or have children with hemangiomas! We carry pamphlets of information & hand them out to those who stare or ask questions! We love teaching about them!
Shelby Wilson, United States, Texas
I was born with a PWS on the right side of my face. I have had several laser treatments, but stopped having them regularly when I was younger. It’s always made me unique and I wouldn’t trade it!
Shelly Hewitt, United States, Colorado
I was born with my port wine stain. About 2 years ago I developed a lump under it, and was told it was a lipoma. Went to a general surgeon to have it removed, he refused and wanted and MRI. At that point I found out I had an AVM. I have had it embolized 3 time with black onyx, but it kept growing back.
At this point I have had 2 ethanol embolization with Dr. Yakes. It definitely has not been easy, but I find great strength in my kids. The amount of pain I live with daily is unreal. I never imagined it would develop into something else. I have always been asked about abuse and people saying that I have a red bloch on my back, then having to explain that it’s a port wine stain and I was born with it.
Stacy Celestin, United States, Florida
Hi my name is Stacy and I am 32 years old and lived with port wine stain my entire life. I suffer from earlier morning flare ups and emotional swelling, unaligned spaced out teeth, bad gums on my right side. After entering the adult world I learned to embrace who I am and love the skin that I am in. Kids would make fun of me I’d shy away from the world to avoid anyone noticing that my face was not aligned or swollen on certain days. Today my goal is to reach out to every person who has PWS and tell them how beautiful they are inside and out. Nothing more matters then what is on the inside.
Stacy Ilia, Greece, None
I am Stacy from Greece. I have a 16 year old daughter with KTS and DVT. She only had symptoms last April, unfortunately with PE. I want to help people to accept their rare disease and doctors learn about it.
Susan and Lucy Maughan, United Kingdom, None
I’m Lucy, I’m 15, and I have a port wine stain, Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome and hemihyperplasia. One side of my body grows faster than the other, I have weak muscles, bones and immune system and I’ve had over 40 surgeries since I was 10 months old. I’m a dancer and don’t let my conditions stop me from doing anything.
Tammy Morris, United States, 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.
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, 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, 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!