On May 18, 2016, our lives were changing once again for the better with the arrival of our second child, Hannah. In the operating room there seemed to be an uncertain wave that came across everyone after the doctor held her up. “Perhaps it was the way she was laying in the womb,” the doctor and nurses talked among themselves and us, regarding the red mark that was covering the right side of her beautiful face. All we saw was a perfect, healthy little girl. It wasn’t until the next day that her doctors told us that they believed her “red mark” was a Port Wine Stain. Whether they were uncertain of the correct term or they were too afraid to tell us the future potential complications, they didn’t go into too much detail. We had never heard or seen anyone with a Port Wine Stain and it was at that moment that we decided we would learn everything we could and become our own expert. Through doctor appointments with numerous specialists and surgeons we have become so passionate about sharing what a Port Wine Stain is, with really anyone who will listen. Our dream is for Hannah to be able to go into public without anyone staring, pointing or whispering, because they understand what her birthmark is – it’s just a Port Wine Stain.
The Vascular Birthmark Foundation (VBF) has been an amazing resource for our family and so many other families who have been impacted by a Vascular Birthmark. Through the VBF we have found the best doctor for our daughter’s treatments. To date, Hannah has undergone over two dozen laser treatments that started when she was six months old. After each treatment, temporary purple polka dots appear over the treated area, which is where the Purple Polka Dot race name comes from.
All of the money raised from the Purple Polka Dot Race will go directly to the VBF. The VBF is an international charitable organization that networks families affected by a vascular birthmark, tumor, or syndrome to the appropriate medical professionals for evaluation and/or treatment, provides informational resources as well as sponsors physician education, mobilizes medical missions trips, and supports research and programs that promote acceptance for individuals with birthmarks.
Thank you for your support and generosity!