What Our Community is Saying: VBF Provides Free Services and Support for Those Affected by a Vascular Birthmark, Anomaly, and/or Related Syndrome (VBARS)
Anthony DiMattia, Florida, was born with a facial Hemangioma and a Port-Wine Stain (PWS) birthmark. Not much was known back in the ‘60’s about vascular birthmarks and there were no [resources] to deal with it. Most doctors told his mother to leave [the PWS] alone, and that over time it may go away.
“Over time, my PWS didn’t go away; it actually became more pronounced in my 40s,” said Anthony.
Anthony says his youth was normal and that he feels extremely fortunate. But he says that the challenges of the psychological awareness—of his unique appearance—gave him the tools he needed to strive to do something exciting with his career.
Anthony graduated from Maine Maritime Academy 1988 and started sailing all over the world as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine. He worked his way up to sailing Captain for his last 15 years of a 30-year career, and now heads the American Merchant Marine Veterans Association as their National President.
When the internet launched in the mid-‘90s, Anthony was exploring information about birthmarks and that is when he found VBF.
“I attended Dr. Linda’s very first conference held in Boston at MGH,” said Anthony. “The team of doctors along with the scope of knowledge Dr. Linda conveys was, and continues to be, invigorating!”
This year, Anthony will be attending the 2023 VBF Conference and Super Clinic in NYC—his fourth Super Clinic. He has followed through with several doctors from the clinics, all with their own specialties, and is grateful to Dr. Linda for always treating him and the entire vascular birthmarks community like extended family. For almost 30 years, Dr. Linda has been a champion for the cause of vascular birthmarks.
“Knowing that each of us is uniquely different, it is comforting to have the VBF be part of your outlook in life!” said Anthony.