Steven R. McQueen and Julia Restoin Roitfeld Visit Local Smile Train Partners and Patients in Haiti
Supporters Steven R. McQueen, television and film actor, and Julia Restoin Roitfeld, model and founder of Romy and The Bunnies, recently returned from visiting local doctors and patients from Smile Train’s Haitian partner L'Hôpital Universitaire Justinien.
Pamela Sheeran, Vice President and Smile Train Regional Director, Americas said she was ecstatic for the two supporters to join her in Cap-Haïtien. “This partner hospital is very special to me because after two years of Smile Train sponsored training it is now the first hospital in Haiti independently able to perform free Smile Train cleft lip surgeries for the very poor patients across Haiti,” said Pamela.
Everyone in the group was struck by the beauty of Haiti and how welcomed they felt from the cleft patients. Steven said, “Haiti was such an incredible place. With the kindest people I have met. I am so happy I was able to see Smile Train’s work firsthand.” Steven was so inspired by the cleft patients he met in Haiti that he decided to raise additional funds to help children with t-shirt sales on his website.
The need in Haiti was apparent as well. Conservative estimates show more than 200 new babies are born every year in Haiti with a cleft lip and/or palate, in addition to those born in prior years who are still waiting for care.
Julia said one of her favorite moments was watching the joy of a young mother seeing her daughter smile during her three month checkup. She said, “As a mother, it was amazing to see the look of relief for these parents when they first saw their children’s new smiles. I am so happy I was part of this journey, it opened up my eyes.” Julia was also inspired by the trip. She decided to auction off a one of a kind opportunity to hang out with her at a New York City fashion shoot with renowned photographer Pamela Hanson.
Smile Train is so grateful for these two to take time out of their very busy schedules to visit our local partners and share their experiences with their many fans. There is a substantial need for cleft care in Haiti and with the continued help of our supporters, Smile Train will provide a safe, top quality and free solution.
To stay up-to-date with Steven and Julia, you can follow them on Twitter @McQueeninchains and @RestoinRJulia.