Transforming Faces Blog

Subharanjana’s Story

July 20th, 2016 by

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.

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Save the Date for Salsa

July 13th, 2016 by

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.

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Sandhiya’s Cleft Story

June 30th, 2016 by

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

Sandhiya 2

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.

Sandhiya 3

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

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Tanchanid’s Transformation

June 24th, 2016 by

Many of the patients that we work with in Thailand come from migrant families who face language and travel barriers to access care.

Tanchanid is one of these patients.
She was born in 2006 with a cleft lip and palate to Chinese migrant parents. Her mother, Na Fa Muser, was confused when she saw one of her newborn twin daughters had a cleft and felt personally responsible.

Na Fa struggled to feed Tanchanid and was nervous to bring her out in public.  Thankfully, Tanchanid was able to have a cleft repair surgery at a public hospital and her mother felt very relieved. But, Tanchanid continued to struggle with challenges speaking and interacting with peers. She was a very shy, and quiet girl who was often bullied and, as a result, was afraid to communicate with others.IMG_8320

When she was 5 years old, Tanchanid began receiving comprehensive support from our partners at the Northern Women’s Development Foundation. At this time, she and her twin sister were left in the care of their grandmother as their mother had sought work in another province.


At age 9, Tanchanid was able to have a bone graft surgery. This surgery helps ensure teeth grow properly and helps improve the shape of the nose for cleft patients.


Over the last five years, Tanchanid has also been participating regularly in speech therapy. At first, it was difficult for her to be able to attend therapy sessions. But now, Tanchanid is 16 years old and is able to make her own way to speech and dental appointments. Her twin sister, Tanchanok, is very supportive and helps Tanchanid practice her speech at home.


Today, Tanchanid is doing very well and has lots of friends at school. She hopes to pursue a university degree in social development over the years to come!DSCN6081

Read more about our work in Thailand.

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Beautiful Before & After 2016: A Huge Success!

June 9th, 2016 by

Thank you to everyone who came out to support our Annual Beautiful Before & After Celebration on Thursday May 26. With your help, we raised roughly $56,000 towards our international programs to support children born with cleft lip and palate in developing countries!

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The evening brought together over 120 people at the BMO Conference & Event Centre, a beautiful venue overlooking the city of Toronto located at First Canadian Place.

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Guests enjoyed canapés, drinks and a fantastic silent auction courtesy of our many wonderful silent auction donors. A special thank you to WestJet for its generous donation of round-trip airfare anywhere they fly for two people, and our major event donor, Bayer Inc.

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At this year’s event, we aimed to raise funds to support the purchase of a tympanometer for our partners in Thailand. This device tests for fluid in the ear and helps prevent against hearing loss in cleft patients. We are thrilled to share that, thanks to generosity of our guests, we raised over $7,000 towards the purchase of this machine. The remaining amount will be matched by a private foundation. A huge thank you to everyone who supported this initiative!

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Transforming Faces would also like to extend a special thank you to our Host, Mitch Markowitz, our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Ronald Zuker, our Fundraising Committee and volunteers, our event sponsor, The Abbysinnian Foundation, and to each and every one of you that supported the event!

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We hope to see you next year!

Check out more event photos.

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