Entry #3 was the stunning Adriana. Truth be told when she contacted me and I saw a few photos I genuinely thought she was no older than 20! She showed up with her husband and adorable little son and to my surprise said she was 26...You look great girl! We sat and talked about how she was unaware of some incredible resources available to us clefties until recently. I listened to her tell me about relatives who were born with a cleft lip and/or palate. I could see it in her eyes, her family is not stranger to being cleft effected. She explained about one distant that had passed away as a baby because no one knew how to care for a baby with cleft. I think about how long ago that WASN'T. Ya know? Think about it! Less than 100 years ago children just died because no one knew how to feed them. For the most part (in the U.S. anyway) it is rare to find children that haven't received a revision of some sort. It is the exact opposite situation in places like Central and South America. And unfortunately, multiple surgeries and hundreds of dissolvable stitches are only a piece of the cleft journey. Kids have to comprehend that they will look different for the rest of their lives. Emotionally adjusting to not having a smile like anyone else. Now, lets throw in the opinion and lack of education of other children into growing up. Sounds hard right? Well...let's hope "1in700" can change that all together.

  I felt this extreme determination, a new kind of firey ambition to raise awareness. To think that this still happens today makes me more than sad, so it's time to act. Thank you, Adriana, for sharing your story with me. Watch Us Rise. 

Zachary Rodetis-Urenda