FACES Foundation focuses on cleft lip and palate surgery, but we also know one thing for certain: surgery alone is not enough for these children. Comprehensive cleft palate care requires a surgeons, medical staff, speech therapists, social workers, and much more. Cleft is a complicated problem, but we have been working to build our model: a locally-sustainable method of providing comprehensive care to those who need it the most.
One thing we find with almost every cleft patient? They also have hearing problems. Here is where the Lions come in. The Lions Club is a service club that has a wide range of focus areas, but one particularly strong focus is on sight and hearing. FACES has long worked with the Lions Club in Lambayeque to help with the cleft trips, and recently we have formed a partnership with the Portland-area Lions Clubs as well. On our trip is Dennis Tichenor (Milwaukie Lions Club) and Merry Meek and Warren Heathman (Downtown Portland Lions Club). The three Lions have been working tirelessly to plan for this trip and brought to Peru two audiology machines to test hearing, as well as vision equipment, including a refractor, to test for sight anomalies.
One of the purposes of the trip to Peru for the Lions was to explore the possibility of a long-term partnership with the Lambayeque Lions – a partnership which would enable the Peru group to expand their reach and test the sight and hearing of people all over the region, including the remotest villages of northern Peru. The Portland Lions have a long-standing commitment of testing sight and hearing for school-aged children. They work with the Oregon school districts to provide free sight and hearing screening for everyone.
On Thursday, the two Lions groups came together for an important training: Dennis, Warren and Merry instructed the group on how to use the audiometers and the vision equipment. The two clubs are working together to develop a grant proposal for the Lions Club International Foundation. This grant will request funds so that the Portland/Lambayeque Lions may purchase this equipment for the use by the Lambayeque Lions Club. The training went for over five hours, during which the Lions tested each other and several subjects to get to know how to use the equipment.