Transforming Faces Blog

Meet Danielle

July 2nd, 2015 by

Meet Danielle


Danielle Kuokua Asomdwe Sakyi was born with a cleft lip and palate on April 30, 2014 in Accra, Ghana. Right away, Danielle’s parents, Daniel and Emelia Sakyi, were assured that their baby would be able to receive cleft care support at TF’s partner facility, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Despite having no known family history of clefts, both parents handled the news very calmly.

Once released from the hospital, Emelia began researching cleft lip and palate on the internet and other available resources. She realized the stigma associated with the condition in Ghana and was concerned with how her friends, family and community would react. She decided not to introduce Danielle to her community members until she had received treatment.

Thankfully, Danielle had her cleft lip repair surgery in August 2014 and her palate surgery shortly after. Our team at Korle Bu stress how happy Daniel and Emelia were after the surgery and note that Danielle is “a happy girl who enjoys the love and support of her parents.”



Danielle After

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Note: We’re Offline Fri – Mon

June 26th, 2015 by

It’s moving day at Transforming Faces and unfortunately, as a result, we’ll be inaccessible by phone, fax or internet between 10:30am on Friday June 26 and 12pm-5pm on Monday June 29. 

Thank you for your patience as we get settled in our new space at 637 College St. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause! 

In case of emergency, please contact our Office Coordinator, Irene Costello, at 416-669-9051. 




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Lives Transformed: Meet Chala

June 11th, 2015 by

Chala Abakulu was born with a cleft lip in the Bale-Oromia region of Ethiopia. He is the fifth child of his parents who work as farmers. There was no known family history of clefts so it came as quite a surprise to his family. Luckily, a Norwegian plastic surgeon happened to meet Chala’s family in Bale while there on a mission and was able to accompany them to our cleft care centre at Yekatit 12 Hospital.

At Yekatit 12, Chala was able to have a successful cleft repair surgery shortly after his arrival at six months of age. On the day of his surgery, Chala’s mother was overjoyed that her son was able to have an operation and have the chance at a full, healthy life. 

Chala Blog


Chala is one of roughly 250 patients that undergo cleft repair surgeries at Yekatit 12. Currently, the team at Yekatit 12 relies on old, outdated surgical equipment that is increasingly becoming unsafe to use. In an effort to ensure our patients receive the highest quality care, Transforming Faces has launched a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of purchasing vital new equipment. 

By upgrading the most essential equipment, we will be able to help ensure the continued safety and quality of Ethiopia’s only comprehensive cleft care program. As a leading teaching university for plastic and general surgery, new equipment would also enhance Yekatit 12’s capacity to train the next generation of general and reconstructive surgeons from all over the country.

If you’re interested in supporting this campaign, please consider making a donation

If you have any questions about this equipment, please get in touch

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Meet Rubana

June 4th, 2015 by


Rubana was born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. Her home village of Kannagi Nagar is 250km from Chennai, India where TF’s partner project at Sri Ramachandra University  (SRU) is located. When Rubana was born, her mother Ariappa admits feeling very distressed and crying a lot. She wasn’t aware that affordable cleft care was available until she was directed to SRU’s mobile camps.

Through SRU and their mobile camps, which offer decentralized access to cleft care services, Rubana underwent three cleft repair surgeries and began receiving ongoing speech therapy close to home.

Today, Rubana is in the 7th grade and enjoys studying Tamil. Both Rubana and her mother are very happy with her progress and the quality of care she has received. Rubana notes that “before treatment, when I [spoke] nobody understood me but now I can speak clearly. I still have problems with ‘s’ sounds [but] I am trying hard to achieve that.”

In the future, Rubana hopes to give back to her community by becoming a police officer. 

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Beautiful Before & After a Huge Success

May 28th, 2015 by

Thank you to everyone who came out to support lives transformed on Thursday May 21, 2015. It was a wonderful evening complete with Silent Auction prizes galore, delicious food, live music and great friends! 

Thanks to your generous support, we raised $64,984 for our international cleft care programs. 100% of proceeds from the event go directly to cleft care. Note, all Silent Auction proceeds and ‘Fund-A-Need’ donations were matched. 

Beautiful Before & After

A special thank you goes out to our event sponsor, the Abbysinnian Foundation, our Host and Honorary Chair, Brendan Ashcroft, and our Guest Speakers, Dr. Sandra Fastlicht and Jeri Paul. We would also like to thank all our generous silent auction prize sponsors, volunteers and Fundraising Committee for helping to make the evening a huge success! 

Transforming Faces - BMO 2015 - Final-104

Transforming Faces - BMO 2015 - Final-130

For more event photos, click here

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