Friday, 29 July 2011

Operation Smile

I'm standing on my soap box for just a little, mainly because I feel that it is a worthy cause. 

As I have mentioned on here I was born with a cleft lip and palate. And, although it wasn't pleasant to look at it didn't make me any less of a person. I was also extremely fortunate to have been born in New Zealand where the surgeries and dental work needed to repair the cleft were free.

I had my first surgery at six months. The second at 12 months and then I had several more intermittently up until I was 17-18 where I had my final major surgery associated with repairing my cleft lip and palate. This was reconstructive jaw surgery where I had my top jaw broken and brought forward and my bottom jaw broken and moved back to correct my 'underbite'.* All this was free but I know that this is not the case for other children in the world, many who don't have their surgery...ever.

This is where I just want to mention Operation Smile (Australia's Site**) and all the great work that they do. Basically, doctors and other volunteers give up their own time and money to perform surgery on those who would, otherwise, be unable to afford the surgery on their own. I'm not sponsored by Operation Smile or anything like that I just support what they do and have been thinking of volunteering my time or my knowledge toward this cause.

The simple, 45 minute surgery is life changing. I can say this from experience though I was only a baby when I had my first surgery. I know that I have been extremely lucky and I just hope that I can help other children even if it is just by raising awareness.

Testimonials Just look at these before and after photos...

Now, I'm putting my soap box away.

On a different note - The Walking Dead was just as awesome as I thought it would be. Torso zombie was amazing. I really want to know how they did that.

*I had this surgery twice since the first time sort of failed and one of the titanium screws in my jaw decided to work it's way wasn't fun.
** There isn't one in New Zealand so Australia is the closest one for me.


  1. How fortunate you were is right. I looked at the before/after pictures in the link and it is astonishing. Bless those that give their time to do this for free.

  2. Its amazing how much something that can take 1/24th of a day to do can save someones life giving them thousands of days to live

  3. That is such an amazing story! I am so happy that you were able to get help like that! :)

  4. @Bouncin' Barb - I know. It really puts things into perspective plus gives me a little direction for what I want to do as well.

    @SamArmy - so true and what a neat way of putting it.

    @Zombie - aw thanks so much.

  5. re your comment: Chelm is actually part of Jewish humor. it's a fictional town where the people try to solve their problems using correct reasoning, but obtain an incorrect result.

  6. See, even that I find interesting. My family history is rather, uh, complicated so things liek that fascinate me.

  7. I always see ads for this organization in my local newspaper. I plan to donate when I actually have money (unemployment ruins that). My brother-in-law gave them $10,000 one year, though.

  8. I know what you mean by unemployment ruining that. I give what I can when I can but go your brother in law giving such a generous amount. (By proxy it also came from you in a way heh)

  9. Wow, you've been through so much. I think modern medicine is so amazing, that it can make THAT kind of miraculous transformations. I'm just totally blown away.

    New Zealand sounds like an awesome place. FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS!

  10. @ Diego Sousa - Thank you.

    @That Blond Guy - it's even more amazing to me now since my surgery was done in the 80s and they needed to do more than one. Now they only have to do half the surgeries. And Flight of the Conchords is awesome.

    @j.littlejohn - Thank you. I normally don't talk about the charities that I try to support or donate to but I felt that this one was one that I could promote due to my 'insider' knowledge.

  11. Glad to see everything worked out well!

  12. Thank you. That's very kind of you to say. :)