When Jordan was born, his mother, Angela, and the health practitioners could see his cleft lip on the ultrasound at sixteen weeks. Angela didn’t know anything about cleft lip or palate because no one in her family had had one before. In several meetings with doctors and surgeons, Angela learned that Jordan needed two surgeries before his first birthday, and she was overwhelmed. After those first two surgeries on his lip, Jordan would need 1-3 surgeries on his palate, 2-3 one his nose, and 1 to correct his jaw. Looking ahead, as Jordan grows his treatment will also require multiple orthodontic and dental procedures. He will also need to see a speech pathologist for many years and have multiple ear surgeries. With all this facing her, Angela wondered how, as a single mother, she was going to pay for everything Jordan needed to be a happy, healthy child. She worried that Jordan would not get the optimal care because she could not afford it.
Smile for a Child Foundation wants to eliminate such worries. We understand that the comprehensive and coordinated care to help children like Jordan, is extremely expensive. The Surgeon General of the United States estimates that the lifetime medical costs of treating cleft lip and palate is upwards of $100,000. Smile for a Child Foundation wants to give Angela and her community the ability to focus their attention on Jordan and his care rather than worrying about the funding they need for these procedures.
It is especially important to develop a care plan that is specific to each patient. The timing of treatment varies greatly and is based on each child’s development and on the condition itself. Cleft kids often need continual surgeries from birth until sometimes even the age of twenty. So it’s essential that cleft kids have both regular check-ups and a dedicated team to help them and their families through the process.
Smile for a Child Foundation’s mission is to help the many medical, educational, and emotional needs of children affected with cleft lip, palate, and other craniofacial differences. Our programs include grants for healthcare, equipment, and academic scholarships. To learn more about these programs and donate to them, please visit the home page. If you would like some additional information, or you or someone you know is in need of a grant to help care for these children, please contact us. Help us care for these children today by donating below.