Every parent’s dream is to stare down at their perfectly formed newborn baby and coo and murmur every bit of soothing nonsense imaginable, but what if their newborn has a birth defect? It makes the child no less special, but sometimes, the world can be unbelievably cruel. The most common birth defect in the world today is the cleft lip and/or palate, a facial deformity that leaves the lip split and the roof of the mouth with a large hole. One in a thousand children is affected each year in the United States alone. It is believed that in developing countries that 165,000 children are born every year with cleft lip or palate, but this is much harder to determine because these children are often killed moments after birth or abandoned, left to the mercy of wild animals or the elements.
A cleft lip or palate repair surgery is one of the simplest and least expensive to perform, but most of these parents can’t afford to have it done, even though it would mean a better quality of life for their child. However, thanks to the generosity and kind spirit of the people who formed Smile Train, these children have a chance to go to school, to get a job when they get older, and to live a life without ridicule. Smile Train’s mission is to provide free surgeries and rehabilitation for children who cannot afford it any other way. However, Smile Train cannot do it alone. They rely on the donations from kind people who believe in their cause. For only two hundred and fifty dollars, a child’s life can be changed for the better forever. If you believe in Smile Train’s mission and wish to contribute, you can donate at SmileTrain.org.