The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

VBF Global Ambassadors are a global network of advocates who are working together with VBF to build awareness of vascular birthmarks and funnel support to every corner of the birthmarks community. In most cases, these are not medical professionals. However, many are either themselves 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 story.

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;
  • 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 you identify a Parent or Adult Reps who has volunteered to provide personal support to other patients and families based on their own unique experiences.
To become a VBF Global Ambassador follow this link to register now or contact Scott Cupples, manager of the VBF Global Ambassador Program.

Our Ambassadors

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Fran Bennewith, South Africa, Northern Cape

My daughter Stephanie was born with a lymphatic vascular malformation on her right eye (eyelid and behind the eye). After posting on social media, Dr. Linda of the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation reached out to help. Through incredible intervention of Dr. Linda, Stephanie has received three life-changing operations from top specialists in New York. Our family is forever grateful for VBF.

Gabrielle Lane, United States (US), North Carolina

My name is Gabrielle, or “Gabby”. I have an untreated port wine stain covering my right arm and hand. I’m also a sucker for humor, so my favorite thing about my PWS has to be the irony of it. I’ll go days at a time without even thinking about my birthmark. I’ll notice it on my hand when I reach for something, and it’s completely casual. When I describe myself, my birthmark doesn’t come to mind. But there isn’t a day that goes by where others don’t notice it. When others describe me, it’s probably the first thing that comes to mind. I mean, they don’t call me “the girl with the thing on her arm” because I have a great smile.
How funny is that? What makes me stand out to others doesn’t stand out to me, and that is why VBF is important to me. I want to raise awareness and help support other children and teens living with a vascular birthmark, because I hope that one day my birthmark isn’t ironic. Of course, then I’ll have to find a new favorite thing about my port wine stain.

Gracie Beth Scrushy, United States (US), Texas

I’m 16 and was born with a port wine stain that covers the majority of my right leg, and also my upper and lower back. Dr. Roy Geronemus performed my laser surgery, which began when I was three weeks old and continued until I was four. Once after treatment, teachers thought my bruising was perhaps a contagious disease, and they isolated me from the other children. When I reached junior high, I was bullied over my birthmark and realized that not everyone sees my appearance the way my parents see it: beautiful. My passion for dance has placed me in numerous situations where I have to explain my condition. When people stare, I can smile back and inform them about my birthmark and the symptoms related to it. I want to be able to spread awareness so we can stop the stares and help kids feel comfortable in their skin.

Hadlee and Rachel Hudson, United States (US), Missouri

My name is Rachel Hudson and my 6 year old daughter Hadlee was born with a Port Wine Stain on her left eye and forehead. Hadlee had her 5th laser treatment at the 2018 VBF conference in NYC and has had amazing results. We were misinformed about birthmarks when she was born and found VBF through research. When Hadlee was born, we were told her Birthmark would disappear and not to worry. The VBF informed us bout treatments and the chance of developing SEO. Hadlee received ultrasounds and sees an ophthalmologist regularly to be sure she is in good health. The VBF is such a huge part in Hadlee’s health and confidence. Hadlee already knows enough to explain what a PWS is and why she needs treatments. She loves animals, reading, school, and making new friends. We are so grateful for the VBF and everything they do for us.

Helena Paxton, United States (US), Tennessee

I was diagnosed with blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome at 18 months old. Since, I have a right parieto-occipital AVM that bled before I was born. I also have 3 venous malformations on my left leg and toes. 2 paraspinal muscle lesions and a lesion on my right retina.

Ilana Soto, United States (US), California

Miranda’ is a 15 year old beautiful girl that was born with malformations and red stains, she’s been bullyed in school or everywhere she goes but she’s very strong and loves school she will love to help to help other doctors to understand her condition and find a cure.

Isabelle Vargas, United States (US), Nevada

My name is Jayden Torres I’m 11 years old and I was born with SWS and my port wine stain at 6 months I was diagnosed with glaucoma I received an implant to control my pressure of my right eye and at 7 months my epileptic attacks started and then I got Hemangioma in my nose. Thanks to Dr. Linda I met my angel the Dr. Geronemus from Laser &Skin Surgery.

Jade Brownfield, United States (US), New York

My quite large port wine stain over my right shoulder, has followed me all the way from Indiana to New York and many places between. My background is in fashion and fitness, I was a “clothes hanger” for over 10 years. Half of the people I worked with probably have no idea I have this large birthmark as I’ve mastered the art of covering it. I have gone through excruciating laser treatments and tried all of the creams. Standing in heels and awkward hair flips to cover my shoulder left me with some serious back pain. I found pilates. I’m now a clothes hanger and also a certified mat pilates instructor. This helped me deal with my back pain and my “road rash” arm as an ex boyfriend lovingly coined my port wine stain.

I’m 30. I’m ready to help others not have to master that horrible art.

How can I help?

Jake Clements, United Kingdom (UK)

I have grown up with a PWS and want to help spread awareness online and help others with PWS and other birthmarks to accept their “marks of awesome”. I have been promoting PWS on my Instagram and have been featured on BBC Instagram about my birthmark.

Jamie Owens, United States (US), Tennessee

A little about my daughter Alice – she is the youngest ‘twincess’. They were born at 37 weeks, she weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces, and her hemangioma came up as a little scratch at two weeks old. Alice was diagnosed with a Hemangioma on her right eye lid when she was 3 weeks old. She falls in the 10% of having to see medical specialists. We are planning a Car Show charity event in honor of Alice for VBF.