Today I am doing a quick post about Operation Smile. It’s an organization that I feel pretty strongly about, seeing as I was born with a bilateral cleft lip and cleft palate (you can read info from wikipedia HERE). This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.
Me in my baby cuteness (I still have this dress – it’s on my homemade cabbage patch doll – I know there surely has got to be some of you out there that have homemade cabbage patch dolls wearing your own baby clothes)
My grandma holding me – I had arm braces so that I wouldn’t touch my lip after various surgeries:
I don’t have any pictures of me before surgery – they operated right away, maybe a day old? I have had over a dozen operations as they tweak my lip and raise my nose. Maybe one a year til I was 12, and then one more when I was 15ish. That was one interesting – my plastic surgeon wanted my upper lip to be fuller, so he used part of my bottom lip – but for the graft to work, it had to be connected for a couple of weeks. So it meant that my mouth was sewed shut except for the corners. I lived on strawberry milkshakes (from Sonic – so much more real tasting than McDs!) and heated up V8 so that it mimicked vegetable soup – anything that would go through a straw. Crazy, right?!?
So, a few recent pictures – you can see my scars, but if I were more of a makeup wearer, I think they’d be even less visible:
I can say that growing up, I knew I was like any other kid. I am grateful for the reconstructive surgery I was able to receive as a infant/toddler/child that gave me that opportunity. I can’t imagine not being able to meet that need for a child. Especially now as a parent, not being able to help your own child would be devastating. I probably should have had my mom write this post. Anyways…..
have you heard of Operation Smile?? straight from their website :
Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity that heals children’s smiles, forever changing their lives.
We’re a mobilized force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft — often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places these children are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can’t afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a normal life.
That’s where we come in as an international charity providing much needed surgical services. Since 1982, Operation Smile — through the help of dedicated medical volunteers — has provided more than 2 million patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.
As one of the most prominent children’s charities in the world and with a presence in over 60 countries, we are able to heal children’s smiles and bring hope for a better future.