Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When A Smile Matters

As moms, our child's smile can make the world stop for a second, nothing else will matter, never mind world peace and all cruelty in the world. Our baby will become our world, it may be that way for the next few days, months and or years.

When I was pregnant, I was a worry-wart. I guess most of us were especially if it is the first time. We all wanted the best for our baby-in terms of health conditions. Several sonogram sessions were able to ease my worries and kept me calm for the meantime but then the larger anticipation of giving birth and labor pains took its place in my hypothalamus and overpowered my worries. But above all these experiences (and worries) one thing I was able to attest, is that if you're a mother, your love is unconditional-no matter what happens, whatever your baby will look like when he comes out and whatever situation and circumstances he is in you will still love and take care of him no matter what.

Why am I sharing this? Well apparently, not may of us know but every 3 minutes a child is born with a cleft,  unable to do normal things like eat, speak, socialize and more importantly, smile. Based on worldwide population and birth rate estimations, cleft lips and cleft palates (a cleft is an opening in the lip, the roof of the mouth or the soft tissue in the back of the mouth) occur in approximately 1 per 500-700 births, the ratio varying across geographic areas or ethnic groupings. The sad thing is the exact cause of all this is still unknown. This congenital defect may also be attributed to a combination of genetic and environmental factors since the defect takes place during the early stage of development. Scientists are still looking for ways to prevent clefts from happening but according to studies increased intake of folic acid during the early stages of pregnancy may reduce the risk. In many cases, parents are not able to afford surgeries that will allow these children to live a normal life...

Operation Smile wanted to change lives forever. It is an international children's medical charity that heals children's smiles. More than just an NGO and founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a  mobilized group of medical professionals and volunteers that has provided more than 2 million patient evaluations and over 200,000 safe, free and effective surgeries for cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities to children and young adults around the world. Operation Smile is one of the most prominent children's charities in the world and its presence is felt in over 60 countries. The generosity of supporters from different walks of life like business leaders, students, celebrities, athletes, musicians and even companies who offer textbook rentals then donate a portion of their proceeds for this charity all help to make the vision of Operation Smile possible. They all create smiles. These smiles are not just from the face but from the heart that bring new life and new hope to children all across the globe and will change lives forever.

What about you? What have you done in your own little ways to change lives?

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