When Martina (pictured left, with FACES patient coordinator, Delia Delgado) first came to see the FACES surgical team, she wouldn’t say a word. Not even a peep. She kept her eyes cast down to the floor and never made eye contact with anyone. Martina was beyond shy: she was enclosed in a shell that was nearly impossible to break into. Martina, who was born with a cleft lip and palate, had spend the marjority of her life feeling ostrasized, embarrassed and looked down upon because of her deformity. She heard about the FACES cleft campaign through a friend, so decided to step out on a limb and see the team.
Several surgeries later, and Martina’s cleft lip and palate are surgically healed. She also received speech therapy over the Internet from FACES, and gained the confidence to speak to others, hold eye contact and engage in conversation. This was a whole new chapter in her life.
Martina is now at the next step of her journey: orthodontics. Cleft palates often cause a variety of dental problems, including misaligned teeth. Martina needs $1,300 dollars worth of orthodontics, including braces and retainers, and we would like to help her pay for this. Today, in the spirit of giving during these joyous times with our own family and friends, we would like to ask for a special appeal from you: please help us give Martina her smile back!