Because we are entering the season of the Thanksgiving Holiday, we thought it would be appropriate to honor the charitable work of “Operation Smile” and other similar charitable organizations, such as Florida based “Shares International.”

  • Fact: Approximately 1 in 500 to 700 children world-wide is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate.
  • Fact: 12% of the children who are born with clefts die under the before they reach their fifth birthday. 10% of them do not live one year.
  • Fact: Babies born with cleft palate often have problems with low birth weight and proper feeding.
  • Fact: Children without surgery for a cleft palette, who reach the age 10 will have speaking problems throughout their lives.

Both of these charities support missions of cosmetic surgeons and thousands of volunteer medical personnel. These professionals provide pro bono services to children afflicted with the broken smiles of the cleft Palette and/or the Lips.

Do You Know These Facts?

1. “Operation Smile has mobilized a network of more than 5,000 medical volunteers from more than 80 countries who offer their time and talents to this cause. Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided healthcare evaluations for more than 3.5 million patients and provided free surgeries for more than 200,000 children and young adults.”

2. Here in Florida, we want you to be aware that Shares International “is a mobilized force of medical professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery and physical therapy for children born with facial and physical deformities…These volunteers have provided healing and hope to over 22,000 families worldwide.”

Both of these organizations network with local contacts and both of them are pledged to train or begin to train a sustainable group of medical personnel in the proverty stricken areas where they perform surgeries and conduct medical exams.

The Shares web site states, “Through our Cleft Lip and Palate and Physical Therapy Programs, we continue to implement the strategic vision of being a catalyst for the development of sustainable solutions to local problems by community partners with local resources. Our mission is backed by local ministries of health and civic organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Do You Know These Facts?

1. The second most common congenital deformity in the entire world is the cleft lip and palate.

2. The Latin American countries have one of the highest rates of clefts in the world. The stunning average is one in every 250 births.

3.  Neither of these organizations, nor their counterparts in other states and countries, could send volunteer surgeons and medical volunteers on these missions without the help of compassionate donors and philanthropists.

When we count our blessings this Season of Thanksgiving, we must include charitable contributers just as surely as we include the generous doctors who give their time and talent to these worthy causes.

By the way, our own Dr. Orlando Cicilioni from Orlando Cosmetic Surgery, has made several of these special trips to bring modern cosmetic and facial reconstruction to young patients who desperately need the dignity and the confidence that only their own ability to smile can bring.

A Thought For The Thanksgiving Season From The Doctors And Staff Of Orlando Cosmetic Surgery:

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Quote Written By Thornton Wilder