Rocky Mount (NC) Telegram's Article for VBF's Day of Awareness
New mother Jessie Langley said it isn’t her 9-month-old daughter’s toothless smile, her giggle or even her vivacious personality some people notice first. A quarter-sized raised red mass on Lennox Langley’s head oftentimes is what catches people’s attention.
“I’ve got this new baby, and I want to show her off, but (it is something that I think about),” Jessie Langley said. “If I have a bow or a headband, I’ll put that on her, not because I’m ashamed of the hemangioma, but I want people to appreciate all the other cool things about her, not just her birthmark.”
Doctors are unsure what causes the buildup of blood vessels in one spot. Hemangiomas vary in size and placement. Lennox Langley’s is in the middle of her head while other babies – mostly white females – have them around their nose, eyes, lips or neck.
“She had a little red dot that started appearing at about two weeks old, but we thought it had to do with the heart rate monitor they put on her head,” Jessie Langley recalled. “At that point, it was about the size of the barrel of a pen – just a flat red dot – but it started raising when she was about two months old.”
She said she talked to her pediatrician about the growth, but he said it’d go away in a few months.
“At about four months, we believed what we’d been told, but it was still growing,” she said. “He told us it would go away and was not a big deal, but I started looking into it on my own because I felt like I needed to know more.
He kept saying it was harmless and would go away and we believed him, but when you have something growing on your baby, especially on her soft spot, it is really scary.”
Through her research, she found similar stories of parents encouraged to ignore growths by their pediatricians, who eventually stumbled on the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation’s website.
Dr. Linda Rozell Shannon, who started the foundation, told Jessie Langley and her husband, Alex, that their daughter’s hemangioma was about a 2.5 on a 10-point scale, with 10 being the most severe case. Shannon said it likely would flatten by the time she was 3 or 4 and would lose redness by age 10.
The Langleys have opted not to pursue medical intervention, especially since insurance largely considers birthmark procedures cosmetic.
Jessie Langley said strangers have asked in a less-than-polite way about the mark – a common problem for parents of children with vascular birthmarks.
“I don’t have a problem with people asking about it, but instead of starting there, why don’t they start with how old she is or how cute or happy she is,” Jessie Langley said. “We call it her unicorn knot, so should we keep the unicorn in the room or talk about it?”
She recently ordered Buddy Booby’s Birthmark, a children’s book about a red-footed bird born with a birthmark who is discriminated against by other animals based on the mark. She said she hopes to share it with others to bring sensitivity to the issue and lessen bullying about it.
“I found out how common this is, but I never see anyone with them or books with kids who have birthmarks,” she said. “Books and media are representative of different cultures, but not this. I just hope people learn more about vascular birthmarks and reduce some of -the fear associated with them.”
Hyleri Katzenberg: Shame on You Piggy Health Insurers!
North Texas moms raise awareness of disfiguring birthmarks
Hyleri Katzenberg: Not Just a Birthmark: The Struggle Against Vascular Deformities
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation to Host 'Mark of Beauty' Gala and Medical Conference
Dr. Llinda interviewed for Parent Map
Bell Family Faces Daughter's Painful Condition - part 1
Bell Family Faces Daughter's Painful Condition - part 2
VBF quoted in New York Times
SheKnows.com features a question and answer session with Dr. Linda
Understanding Vascular Birthmarks on Your Baby
Pediatrics for Parents features Dr. Linda
Click here for the pdf version
Links to advance coverage of Angel's Kiss Gala:
NBC-TV Dallas Fort Worth
MomsOutLoud.com (local TX parenting website)
Fort Worth Key
Fort Worth Child
North Texas Child
Dallas Fort Worth Thrive
North Texas Kids
Fort Worth Downtown Review
Hospital Removes Girl's Spreading Birthmark
WBZ (CBS-Boston) TV
WBZ (CBS-Boston) Web site
The Observer Tribune
November 7, 2008
The Observer Tribune
November 13, 2008
AOL Living--Parent Dish
November 25, 2008
The Times Union
November 30, 2008
The Lake Cities Sun
December 3, 2008
December 8, 2008
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation to Host “Mark of Beauty”
Gala, Conference AND AUCTION
- Organization Works to Increase Awareness & Support of Serious
and Misunderstood Anomaly -
New York -- October 17, 2008 -- The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation
(VBF) will be hosting its “Mark of Beauty” Gala and 2008
Vascular Birthmarks Conference on November 14-15, 2008, in Manhattan.
VBF is an organization dedicated to helping children and families affected
by birthmarks, tumors, and syndromes receive proper diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon founded VBF after her daughter was born with
a hemangioma on her lower lip and she was unable to find information
on treatment options.
According to Dr. Rozell-Shannon, vascular birthmarks are a largely
unreported medical phenomenon that affects one in ten children born
annually; with approximately 40,000 being so significant that they require
the opinion of a specialist. Since insurance companies frequently deny
treatment and because there are so few treatment centers or specialists,
many children are left with a severe deformity, breathing difficulties,
eating issues, blindness and, in some cases, death.
“During initial diagnosis, 90-95 percent of doctors will say
that nothing can be done,” says Dr. Rozell-Shannon. (Shannon earned
her PhD in order to help families affected by these lesions.) “There
is an urgent need to raise awareness in parents, as well as doctors,
that there are critical treatment options available.”
Concerned parents will have an opportunity to have their children examined
and diagnosed at the 2008 Vascular Birthmarks Conference on November
15, beginning at 8:30 a.m. This program, which will take place in conjunction
with the Vascular Birthmark Institute at Roosevelt, at Beth Israel’s
Phillips Ambulatory Care Center branch (10 Union Square East in Manhattan),
will also include lectures by the top specialists in the country on
the latest information in the diagnosis and treatment of these lesions.
(Reservations are required.)
The Mark of Beauty Gala will be held on Friday, November 14 from 7:00
p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Hudson Theatre in the Millennium Broadway
Hotel New York, 145 West 44th Street in Manhattan. The event will feature
a musical performance by stars of “Phantom of the Opera”,
hors d’oeuvres and open bar, and a silent auction of celebrity
The exciting auction items include guitars signed by Miley Cyrus and
the Jonas Brothers; a bat signed by Reggie Jackson; a 2007 New York
Giants signed helmet; a Derek Jeter signed and framed New York Yankees
jersey; a Sandy Koufax signed and framed L.A. Dodgers jersey; a Magic
Johnson signed/encased basketball; a Joe Montana signed/encased 49ers
helmet; a David Wright autographed bat; Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets,
Patriots and Red Sox memorabilia; and other many other collectibles.
People can also bid on a NASCAR driving experience; a Fighter Pilot
for a Day experience; a trip for 4 to the 2009 Masters; a Sonoma Wine
Extravaganza; and VIP tickets to many events.
For information on the clinic, gala, and auction – and to make
reservations and obtain tickets – please visit www.birthmark.org
or contact Basia Joyce at (518) 374-2062 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
VBF is also seeking corporate sponsors as well as donations of silent
auction and gift bag items. (All donations are tax deductible.) Please
contact Basia Joyce if you would like to contribute to this organization—which
has had such a profoundly positive impact on more than 35,000 families
About Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF):
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF) is the leading not for profit
in the world for families afflicted with vascular birthmarks, tumors
or syndromes. It is an international organization that networks families
to the appropriate medical professionals for evaluation and/or treatment
and provides informational resources. VBF also sponsors physician education,
research, and programs that promote acceptance for living with a birthmark.
Programs include Babies with Birthmarks, Orphans with Birthmarks, and
VBF Day of Awareness.
# # #
Brown Family's Slideshow
April 28, 2004 is a day the Brown family will never forget. It marks
the anniversary of Aslynn Brown's surgery to remove a massive hemangioma.
Three years later, Aslynn's mother, Jill Brown, made a slideshow to
reflect on their journey and the miracle that Dr. Milton Waner performed.
Just as the Brown's will never forget that day, we will never forget
Aslynn and the Brown family for sharing their story and bringing awareness
for vascular birthmarks.
- The Amazing Journey of Aslynn Brown
Donna and Evan Ducker and Buddy Booby Make it Big...
VBF Gets Referenced in Buddy Booby Birthmark Articles
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Founder to make appearance in Binghamton
Monday December 4, 9:00 am ET
Binghamton, NY – December 4, 2006 – FACES Publications,
LLC announced today that Vascular Birthmarks Foundation founder Linda
Rozell Shannon will make an appearance at its annual Book Release Party
on Thursday December 7, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. at the Anthony Brunelli Fine
Arts Gallery, 186 State Street in Binghamton.
Rozell Shannon is the President of the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation
and is the world's leading lay expert in the field of Vascular Birthmarks.
Her remarkable dedication and outreach have made treatment possible
for thousands of children all over the world who suffer from various
birthmark anomalies. Rozell Shannon wrote the forward in the 2007 edition
of FACES of the Southern Tier which will be showcased at the release
“We are extremely honored to be hosting Linda Rozell Shannon
in Binghamton this week. She has made a phenomenal impact on thousands
of children and families all over the world with her tireless efforts
in her assistance with finding treatment for vascular birthmarks”,
said Roger L. Brooks, editor-in-chief of FACES Publications. “I
can attest first hand to the tremendous amount of information my wife
and I received from the VBF website when we were trying to find treatment
for our daughter in 2002.”
In 1995, with the help of Dr. Martin Mihm, Rozell Shannon started the
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation. In 1996, she began her work on a book
entitled, "Birthmarks, A Guide to Hemangiomas and Vascular Malformations."
Published in 1997, it is still the only publication available on the
subject that is written for parents.
For more information on vascular birthmarks, please visit the website
at www.birthmarks.org. If you would like to interview Linda Rozell Shannon
please contact Roger L. Brooks to make arrangements.
Roger L. Brooks
FACES Publications, LLC
49 Court Street, 2nd FL
Binghamton, NY 13901
Phone: 607.723.0324/ 607.343.7864
First Ever All Birthmarks Conference -- A Chance of a Lifetime
VBF President and Founder Linda Rozell-Shannon is quoted and referenced
in the May 2006 issue of Babytalk magazine (page 15)...a small blurb
on birthmark news.
VBF Celebrates 3rd Annual International Awareness Day
Get the press
Interview with Donna Ducker, author of Buddy Booby's Birthmark on Connecticut's
See the interview
Changes, Chance and Charity – Linda’s
Read how Linda Rozell-Shannon was inspired to found the VBF and later
became the recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Award, considered
the Nobel Prize for public and community service.
VBF President/Founder Featured As Walden University's "Making
A Difference" Student
VBF Gets Million Dollar Donation
VBF President and Founder Linda Rozell-Shannon announced today (November
16, 2005) that an anonymous donation of $1,000,000
for research and physician education has been donated to VBF with Dr.
Milton Waner as overseer of the research and physician education programs.
Research projects are currently being defined and we will be reporting
to you on these programs as they are finalized.
NOTE: This donation is designated for Research and Physician Education.
We are very excited about the great strides this money will make in
these two program areas. However, we continue to rely on your generous
donations to fund our daily operations. Please continue to help us to
make a difference by making your annual charitable donation to VBF to
fund our daily operations.
First Research Project Funded -
Hear From The Chief Investigator
About The Hope For A Drug to Shrink Hemangiomas And
Eliminate The Need For Surgery!!!
This is a collaborative effort that includes the team of Dr. Milton
Waner, Dr. Lou Fink, Dr. Ma, and Dr. Theresa O.
Research Grant Application
Read more here
Linda Rozell-Shannon speaks to Capital News 9!
the video here