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.
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.
Director, VBF Global Ambassador Program
Alyssa is a 14 years old from Concord, NC and is not your typical teen. She is a competitive hip hop dancer & middle school cheerleader. She entertains audiences with stand up comedy routines, and impressions of female comedians like Miranda Sings. She is a runway model and loves fashion shows. She has a PWS vascular birthmark on her left arm from fingertips to shoulder, and in several other places on her body. Not only has she been bullied at school because of her birthmarks, she’s been embarrassed by suggestive questions from adults and peers about what her birthmarks could be. To date, photographers have been the most accepting of Alyssa’s image. It’s rewarding when I read the social media messages from other girls her age who are inspired by her tenacity to pursue modeling and acting and the reposts from women who wish they had the courage to put themselves out there like Alyssa has. Alyssa brands herself as a Vascular Birthmark Ambassador, encouraging young girls who also have one to feel empowered to pursue their dreams and show off their birthmark.
My life started with a PWS and 100 questions about it. As a child, I went to the Dermotolgist regularly but there were no answers for my parent back in the early 80s. I never had any time of treatment until I was 24. I had always used makeup to cover it and the. Would go through phases of not caring about the PWS. I started treatment and I did not get results until my 30 treatment. As I turned 35, my PWS started to change and I started growing nodules (huge bumps) on my PWS. I am an educator and I always have children asking me what happened to my face and why I have bumps on it. I was asked to change grade levels because I was scary to the kindergarteners. Now I teach 4th grade. It’s been tough wishing for the answers and not having to go through the pain of laser treatments. I have had so many and each time there is a new type of laser, my doctor recommends me to try it. After the stubborn nodules have not disappeared, I have given up on treatments. I’m almost 50 years old and I’m tired of trying to look like everyone else.
My Name is Ava Pyles and I have a vascular birthmark on the left side of my face. I found out about VBF through social media and thought it would be a good way to connect with others with vascular birthmarks. I became a Global ambassador so that I could connect with others like me and share my story. It has been a great experience and I have made some great friends.
I’m Avery and I am 22 years old! I was born with KTS and have undergone a slew of management procedures in the past 22 years! I am graduating college in December and plan to attend Vet school next fall! I myself have experienced the difficulties of dealing with self image and just want to share with the world that port-wine stains are beautiful and unique!
I have a port wine stain on the left side of my face, I have had it since birth and I have had 27 operations in 10 years when I was younger. I’d like to be able to help people understand and be more aware of port wine stains and all birthmarks and I think through this I’d he able to help.
I am Batool Kaushal from India. I have lived 54 years of life handling bleeding and pain due to Arteriovenous Malformation of my Pelvis, right leg and foot. I had four surgeries before attaining the age of four. Doctors presumed it to be rectal piles and the bleeding did not stop, till I was operated for pelvic hemangiomas at the age of 18. Eight hour long surgery stopped my profuse bleeding but my leg and foot AVM continued to give me severe pain, till I found Vascular Birthmark Foundation online and approached Dr. Linda, who arranged my leg surgery at Lenox hill hospital in NYC, in 2014. I continue to get advice from AVM team of VBF. I wish to support and help children and adults with Birthmarks in India and around the globe, so that patients like me do not suffer due to lack of awareness and medical aid anywhere in India and abroad.
When my son Jeremy was born the doctors immediately noticed that he had a slight drooping on the left side of his face. As a result, he was misdiagnosed and it was only after several different visits to doctors that we found that he had a venous malformation. He’s had several treatments and is now 14 years old and going into high school and thriving.
Hi, I’m Bianca from Uruguay, and I am 18 years old. I have a PWS, and because of a lack of treatment facilities I traveled to Chile to get laser. As a child, my mother trained me how to respond when people asked me questions about my birthmark. I was bullied, called a monster, and kids even made a song about me. Even after all of that, today I see my birthmark as special and pretty, and I don’t let it bother me. Now I’m in college, and I don’t wear makeup, and can’t imagine my face without my birthmark, because it makes me, me. I hope in becoming an Ambassador, I will meet Latinos and others, to show my support like the VBF supported me. Let’s celebrate our beauty, no matter our appearance. With love – Bianca.
My name is Bianca and I was born with an angioma. I have traveled to Chile to do my laser treatments, so it is better now. All my life I have been bullied for that and now I am 18 years old and I decided not put make up on my birthmark anymore. It is hard because I feel fear about this but now I am feeling so free. I was looking on Instagram, and found pages for birthmarks and personal accounts, which makes me feel more confident. I want to say to all people that all bodies and skins are beautiful. Show who you are, you are perfect and unique the way you are.
My name is Bishoy Alfons Adib, a young Egyptian man. I was born with a disease called ¨Sturge Weber Syndrome¨ (Hemangioma). When I was a kid, I didn’t know why other kids were afraid of me and avoided me. Some looked at me with compassion and others with disgust. So I started wondering why? My parents and teachers encouraged me not to suffer from depression.
When I was older, I understood my status, I realized that I was different and that God had given me a great gift, and this gave me great joy. For example, my face stained by the syndrome made me very well known and unforgettable in all my surroundings. Therefore, I had many friends. Since then, I stopped thinking that my face was a problem, because God created me in this form and blessed me in such a way.
I’m here to share more of my story. If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out.