Gracee's Story: Patient to Nurse

Gracee was born with a cleft lip and palate in the Philippines and she was incessantly bullied growing up.

Gracee in mask and scrubs

Gracee was born with a cleft lip and palate in the Philippines and she was incessantly bullied growing up. "When I was a child, I was upset when other children used to bully me - my friends and mother would tell me to ignore what they were saying, but I would usually just isolate myself or cry," she said.

The bullying finally stopped when Gracee received a Smile Train-sponsored cleft surgery.

Gracee working at a nurse station

Today, Gracee is a confident and happy woman, dedicated to serving others as a perioperative nurse at a local Smile Train partner hospital. Gracee is proud to have a career helping the children who have the same problem she once had.

When asked what advice she has for children living with untreated clefts, she responds: “As hard as it may be, don’t listen to those who bully you – if you were born with a cleft, you can still do something good with your life.”

Nurse Gracee in surgical theater

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