When I found out that our son Luke was going to be born with a cleft lip and cleft palate I immediately felt scared and fearful for our unknown journey ahead. Luke is now 18 months old, we are thankful for the Memorial Hermann Cleft Team, and the abundance of available resources during his early life challenges. But, there aren’t as many resources for these kids as they grow older. As Luke grows into adolescence he will likely face the issues that cleft kids encounter everyday in and outside of school as a result of being different. This is why we started Friendship Smile. We do not want the future challenges of these children to be forgotten. Our goal is to bridge the gap and we need your help.
My son Luke was born with cleft lip and cleft palate. As Katherine and I navigated all of the doctor’s appointments and surgeries that take up a cleft kid’s first year, we began to feel the call to give back to a community that had given much to us and helped us through year one. With Kenzie at our side, we hatched Friendship Smile.
My beautiful daughter Macy was born in 2015 with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. My husband and I are grateful for the encouragement and support we received from family, friends, and the cleft community. I want to ensure that children like Macy have access to programs, resources, and friendships to help them navigate the social, emotional, and physical challenges of having a cleft. I am honored to be part of Friendship Smile and hope that our organization facilitates the growth that will allow these children to cope with and maybe even celebrate their differences.