May 24, 2018
Expanding Our Mission Work
Now in existence for more than eight years, Mending Faces continuously strives to develop world-class programs and offerings to the underprivileged communities we serve. This past year, Mending Faces officially expanded to Latin America, and expanded our mission focus in the Philippines to include surgical repair of hand deformity cases.
Mending Faces’ aim for success is evident by the number of patients we serve in each community during our one-week mission trips. This past year, our annual surgical trip to the Philippines brought us back to Lucena City, Quezon Province, where we performed 80 life changing procedures. It was a delight to return and see familiar faces from the year prior. When a patient is afflicted with both a cleft lip and palate, it may be necessary to first fix the child’s lip so they can nutritionally thrive. The next year it is crucial to return for the second surgery, the palate, when they are stronger and developmentally ready for speech. Additionally, in the Philippines, we expanded our surgical procedures to include burn hand scar contractures and syndactyly of the hand. We were able to identify and help eight patients with either one of these afflictions.
Our new collaboration in 2017 with Colombia based non-profit, Drawing Alegria, was also a huge success. We sent a team of five volunteers including a lead surgeon, two anesthesiologists, and two clinical support staff to Yopal, Colombia, where we performed 16 facial deformity cases. Additionally, we donated four anesthesia vital sign monitors, which was much-needed equipment for an additional hospital served. To learn more about Drawing Alegria, visit: http://drawingalegria.com/.
Even though surgical correction is our most strikingly visible achievement, one just needs to reflect on our mission statement to see that our goals are even further reaching. It is our mission “to restore hope and provide a brighter future to those whose lives are burdened by cleft lip, cleft palate and other deformities.” Our Education Fund helps achieve this goal by providing a brighter future with the donation of scholarship money to some of our most underprivileged patients. This fund continues to grow with donations made specifically to the fund and the number of participants has grown with each mission we complete. Currently, Mending Faces supports 23 children with our Education Fund. One student in particular is Clarisa, a lovely 17-year-old daughter of a rice farmer and disabled mother. Clarisa’s dream is to attend Government College where she wants to study agriculture. Clarisa will be our first patient ever that we will be providing funds for her to go to college.
In order to meet all of our mission needs and provide these services in the communities, we rely on the generosity of individuals and business partners for support. We hope that you will be able to take part in our main fundraising/auction event that we are offering this year, Restoring Hope on September 8, 2018. You will be able to experience firsthand the pride we take in supporting this worthwhile endeavor.
If you cannot make this event, we ask that you please consider a commitment to support our annual appeal by making a cash donation.
Thank you in advance for your support and generosity,
Mimi Wong, M.D.