Smile Train Provides 850,000th Free Cleft Surgery
New York, NY — Around the world this week, people are celebrating Chinese New Year, Carnival, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Valentine's Day, and President's day, but the Smile Train family has one more thing to celebrate. Over the weekend, Smile Train reached a major "smilestone" and provided our 850,000th free cleft repair surgery!
Smile Train patient Amanda Vitoria Araujo represents all of the children that we have helped and the hope that our partners around the world provide every day. One-year-old Amanda received her cleft lip surgery at Hospital Geral Universitário de Cuiabá in Brazil. Thanks to Smile Train partner surgeon Dr. Henrique Laboissiere da Silva and his great team, Amanda and her family have something truly amazing to celebrate this year — a new smile and life.
Amanda is just one of more than 850,000 patients that we have treated since our founding in 1999. Smile Train patients have gone on to start families, win Oscars, become nurses, dedicate their lives to helping others, and so much more. All because they were given the chance to live their lives free of the isolation and pain that unrepaired clefts and communities that don't understand them can cause.
While each one of our 850,000 free cleft surgeries granted a desperate patient a second chance at life, there are still more than one million children who have yet to receive the surgery they need. These children come from families that are too poor to afford cleft surgery on their own, and some of them don't even know that a cleft can be repaired. With your continued support, we can provide these children with free cleft surgery so that they can go on to live normal lives.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help children like Amanda receive the free cleft care they need.