GSF conducts six surgical outreach missions to developing countries each year to treat children with cleft lip and cleft palate deformities who have no access to surgical correction locally, since 2009. We depend upon the generosity of donors to help fund supplies and medications, as well as travel costs to send our teams overseas. One effective tool we have discovered is a hardcover photo book which includes stories of our patients that illustrate the transformation that surgery provides. These kids are allowed, for the first time, to have the prospect of a normal life in their local community. We have had success in providing potential donors with these virtual resources, but they are expensive and they use a significant amount of our hard-earned dollars.
If Conquest Graphics is able to support us, we will be able to expand the scope of our outreach. In the communities we serve in Guayaquil and Santa Elena, Ecuador; Beirut, Lebanon; San Salvador, El Salvador and Trujillo, Peru we encounter large numbers of children with cleft deformities whom we cannot serve due to limits on our funding. There are thousands of additional communities around the world which also need this kind of help. We would love to expand the scope of our work to additional communities in more countries. We simply need more financial support from more donors.
If Conquest Graphics is able to join with Global Smile Foundation and provide the resources for us to reach more potential donors, there is no doubt that we can achieve our goal of treating more kids with cleft deformities who have no other option for receiving this life changing care. Around the world, a child is born with a cleft deformity roughly once every three minutes, day in and day out, 365 days per year. It is truly a staggering number, but we have the ability to impact these kids in a very meaningful way. The life of a child with cleft deformity who cannot receive timely treatment is truly daunting. Physical issues including the inability to suckle, drink, eat and speak properly can be debilitating. Imagine that these kids are then faced with ridicule, humiliation, bullying and in some cases, physical abuse from people who do not understand the challenges or have the compassion to support a child with all of these challenges in their young life!
Among the thousands of cleft patients we have been able to support and treat since some of us started this work back in 1994, there was a young boy named Diego, who presented to us with a cleft lip in 1995. He received successful surgery, with a follow up surgical procedure two years later which resulted in a perfectly normal appearance and the ability to eat, drink and speak normally. Fast forward to 2022- Diego has joined the GSF team full time as our photographer to document each of our patients' transformation. If you are able to help us produce the patient story books, you will be seeing the successful work of a successful man who helps us provide successful care to some beautiful little kids!
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