Naratip’s Seven Year Cleft Care Journey

July 29th, 2016 by

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Naratip was born with cleft lip and palateAt two days old, Naratip Yawirach was admitted into our partner project in Chiang Rai, Thailand. She was born with cleft lip and cleft palate which came as a shocking surprise to her parents, Auiy and Than. Naratip’s parents struggled to cope with this news and felt anxious about the treatment process. Right away, their nerves were calmed by our partner social worker, Nid, who explained what they could expect from the surgery and the follow-up care Naratip would require.

By the age of one, Naratip had undergone two successful cleft repair surgeries but that was just the start of her journey. Thanks to your support of our work, Naratip has been receiving ongoing, comprehensive care over the last seven years. This care has included ongoing dental treatment, speech therapy, family counseling and the use of a device called a nasoform (pictured) to help reshape her nose.

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Our team notes that when Naratip first started attending speech camps, she was very shy and stuck closely by her mother’s side. Within a few years, she had become much more confident, socializing with friends and speaking aloud. Today, Naratip’s dream is to become a professional singer, a true testament to the power of long-term cleft care and speech support.

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Naratip will continue receiving ongoing support, and will begin orthodontic treatment at age 13. Thank you for helping ensure children like her have the chance to grow into happy, healthy adults!

Summer Newsletter Now Available

July 27th, 2016 by

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Check out our Summer 2016 Newsletter to find out how you have helped transform lives this year!Summer 2016 Newsletter

Highlights in this issue:

  • New faces and farewells at Transforming Faces
  • Ethiopian partners visit to Toronto
  • Patient stories from Thailand and Ethiopia
  • Volunteer spotlight: Petra Lasso
  • $56,000 raised at Beautiful Before & After

Download a copy of our Summer 2016 Newsletter now!

Subharanjana’s Story

July 20th, 2016 by

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Subharanjana is from a small village 100 kilometres from Chennai, India. She was born with cleft and palate which was very difficult for her parents, “we felt scared when she was born. But our family doctor advised us to go to Ramachandra Hospital in Chennai. [There, they] oriented us about the problem and how to manage my child’s [treatment].”

Subharanjana with her father

Subharanjana received surgical repairs of her cleft lip and palate. She has also received speech, hearing and dental care through our partners’ mobile camps that offer cleft care services in remote, rural communities of India.

Subharanjana and family

Her parents note that our team at Sri Ramachandra University have been a huge help to their family. If they forget or are not able to make appointments, the team will regularly follow up “without fail”.

Subharanjana’s parents are very happy with the results of her surgery and treatment so far. They expressed how glad they were that they found out about the project.

Subharanjana is now 6 years old. She enjoys studying Tamil at school and wants to become a doctor one day.

Save the Date for Salsa

July 13th, 2016 by

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Our 7th Annual Salsa for Smiles event will take place on Thursday September 29th at 6:00pm at Toronto’s Lula Lounge.

Join us for a lively evening of salsa dance lessons for beginners, a salsa performance, live music and lots of smiles, generously sponsored by Scotiabank!


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Prepare your taste buds because we will also be bringing back our Spice Bucket Challenge, a series of extra-spicy salsas!

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Tickets are now available. All guests who purchase tickets prior to September 1 will be entered in an early bird prize draw!

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Contact us by email or call 416-222-6581 for more details.

Sandhiya’s Cleft Story

June 30th, 2016 by

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15-year-old Sandhiya wants to become a doctor and help children affected with cleft lip and palate, children like her.

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Sandhiya was born with a cleft lip and palate in Arni, a small town about four hours away from our cleft care program in India. At 10 months of age, Sandhiya had her lip repaired and continued with treatment for her cleft palate, speech, hearing and oral health. She and her parents have travelled a long distance to access medical care roughly two times per month and have seen amazing results over the years.

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Her parents explain that, “We never attended any social gathering as we were scared how people would react. The nurses assured [us] that she will be fine with early repair at [Sri Ramachandra University] hospital.”

Sandhiya 1

Sandhiya’s parents have been  comforted by the care they have received at SRU. “We are really happy as we are getting proper guidance and treatment.”

They have noticed a huge difference for their daughter and their family: “Our social life has changed; now we attend all gatherings. We are happy that she is doing well academically as well as in co-curricular activities like singing.”

Sandhiya 4