Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber and Miss Teen USA 2016 Karlie Hay recently visited Smile Train’s local partners and patients in Mexico — a region where Smile Train has provided cleft surgeries and comprehensive cleft care to more than 16,000 children since 2001.
This visit is part of a larger partnership between Smile Train and The Miss Universe Organization to provide opportunities for the reigning Miss Universe titleholders to get involved with Smile Train’s global initiatives around the world.
Deshauna and Karlie, joined by Miss Universe Mexico 2016 Kristal Silva, kicked off their journey with a visit to the home of a child having Smile Train sponsored cleft surgery the following day. Meeting the patient, Angel, and his family was a highlight of the trip for Deshauna. She shared, “We had a chance to ask questions and really understand the struggles of Angel’s day-to-day life, and got to truly comprehend the love that his family has for him."
The next day, Deshauna and Karlie arrived at Smile Train partner hospital Instituto Nacional de Pediatria, located in Mexico City. At the hospital, they met with Smile Train partners and patients — Deshauna, Karlie, and Kristal even got to be in the operating room while their new friend Angel received his cleft surgery. “It was incredible to see all of Smile Train’s great work and to witness a cleft repair surgery firsthand — everybody should have the chance to experience life with a beautiful smile,” Karlie reported.
Monica Dominguez, Regional Director, Central America & Caribbean, said that she was so happy to host Deshauna and Karlie and welcome them as new Smile Train Ambassadors. "Every child born with a cleft should have the opportunity to live a full and productive life and it’s our job to make that possible every day. Deshauna and Karlie are sure to help generate awareness about our cause!”
If you would like to help Deshauna and Karlie bring smiles to children around the world, donate today.