Opera singer, David Webb, goes that extra mile to help children born with facial deformities
Devon, UK - All geared up for charity cycle challenge, classical singer David Webb from the quartet AMORE will ride from London to Devon covering over 300 miles in 3 days in support of the cleft lip and cleft palate charity, Operation Smile which is further than the first three stages of the Tour de France.
As official ambassadors of Operation Smile, AMORE were inspired to support the work of Operation Smile after singing at their annual Carols by Candlelight Service in December. Webb said “Our voices are so important for our careers and knowing that some children may not have the opportunity we have had because their cleft has not been repaired, made us want to do something to help.”
Leaving Operation Smile’s offices in London at 7.00am on Friday 12th April 2013, Webb plans to join over 300 other cyclists participating in the Operation Smile, Miles for Smiles Hammer Sportive on Sunday 14th April as they cycle 100 miles together around the iconic hills of South Hams.
Devon based Hammer Sports partnered with Operation Smile to provide a unique charity challenge to bring together both pro athletes and families alike on this unique challenge event. The event will be started by Director of Sport for Team GB, London 2012 and World Cup winning Head Coach, Sir Clive Woodward, OBE, himself a keen cyclist and supporter of the charity.
Chief Executive of Operation Smile, Alex Talbot said “Most people take smiling for granted – an expression that you don’t think about but can lighten up someone's day. Yet for thousands of children across the world, a smile doesn't come naturally. The Miles for Smile team hope to raise enough to transform the lives of 400 children born with facial deformities - giving each one a new smile.”
5000th Surgery at the Operation Smile Comprehensive Care Centre in Guwahati, India
3-year-old Wilness Sangma from the Garo Hills in Meghalaya India, goes back home today with a smile on his face. A smile that is glowingly mirrored on the face of his parents, Mongol Marak and Dipa Sangma.
This smile is doubly precious because he was treated at Operation Smile India’s Comprehensive Care Centre in Guwahati, Assam – the 5,000th surgery done at this Centre!
In May 2009, Operation Smile India and the government of Assam signed an agreement to form a unique public-private partnership aimed at making Assam the first cleft-free state in India. Other key constituents of the partnership were the National Rural Health Mission of Assam and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust & Allied Trusts.
Today, the Centre provides patients free surgery year-round, as well as associated care including nutrition counseling, dental and orthodontic treatment, speech therapy, and child centered psychological counselling. The Centre is almost completely run by local staff and volunteers, and liases with community health workers and volunteers to educate families and recruit patients for treatment.
Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee, the founders of Operation Smile, congratulated the India team on this significant achievement at the Centre, three and a half years after it was set up.
“To everyone, we give our hardiest congratulations. It seems like yesterday that we stood on the barren cement floors with openings in the walls that looked out into the outreaches of Guwahati and the state of Assam. It is wonderful to know that now 5,000 individuals have benefited from this centre!”
This milestone would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of all the surgeons, nurses, dentists, aneathetists, peadiatricians, speech therapists and many support staff members, in addition to the hundreds of dedicated Operation Smile volunteers and all of our valued donors.
Dr. Gaurav Deshpande, the surgeon who performed Wilness’s surgery today says, “I am absolutely ecstatic and feel privileged that I am a part of such an incredible team. I feel lucky that I have the power to change someone's life by doing a surgery that has such a huge impact on that person's future. We as cleft surgeons try to fill the gap in these people's lives…both literally and figuratively transforming them!"
Bobby Manzano, President & Executive Director, OS Philippines
Our "Journey Home" has come to an end. It has been an unbelievable ride from start to finish.
Over a span of only 30 days, we’ve visited nine cities, condcuted more than 8,000 free healthcare evaluations, provided 6,110 free dental treatments and performed 1,219 free reconstructive surgeries.
Wow! Those numbers are incredible, and every single one of them represents a real human being whose lives we have changed forever.
Every one of them can now go out and face the world without shame or fear of being ridiculed. They will have a life like so many others across the globe that we’ve previously healed … like May Klaire, a former cleft lip patient who’s now a nurse … or Chadleen, a former cleft palate patient who’s now a singer and one of our Smile Ambassadors … or Grisha, a cleft palate and cleft lip patient who’s now an anaesthesiologist and one of our fellow medical volunteers. We pulled off the biggest medical mission in the Philippines by Operation Smile or any private charity here and did it in spectacular fashion. Operation Smile Philippines could not have done it alone.
700 Filipinos and 300 international volunteers from 37 countries donated their time and talents
Operation Smile shipped 14 tons of medical supplies and equipment to our medical mission sites and mobilized resources from around the world
Our long time local partners, the Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung Charitable Foundation, the HOPE Volunteers Foundation, the Kapampangan Development Foundation and the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, hosted our largest medical mission sites
Private companies and local government units underwrote the remaining medical mission sites
Public health workers and members of non-governmental organizations, civic groups, individuals including students, joined the effort and assisted in patient mapping and other logistical requirements
This image of the whole community coming together to make “The Journey Home” happen will resonate far and wide. The momentum we generated will carry us through the next three decades. It certainly will be the catalyst to grow the strategy for the next decade.
That has always been the goal of “The Journey Home.” It was no ordinary mission or celebration. We intended it to be a sentimental journey to the past to anchor our drive to the future. We revisited Naga, where we had our first mission, to recreate the emotional high that sparked the birth of Operation Smile and rekindle the passion of our volunteers.
Operation Smile has always been about passion and emotion. It is compassion that drives us to do what we do and do it better every year. It’s our heart that differentiates us from the rest. It’s the root of our pride and motivation. We organized the medical mission on a scale and size that has never been done before here to showcase our capability and global standards.
We are going to leverage the emotion to open doors for us. The excitement from The Journey Home has yielded amazing results. Our long-time partners have renewed their commitment. We have gained new supporters, new partners, and new donors. We’ve inked a partnership with the Commission on Overseas Filipinos, which could open avenues for our countrymen living and working abroad to help. We’ve also held preliminary talks with two key government departments on possible partnerships in several areas of common concern. And most importantly, our volunteers are in high spirit. I would like to ask those who are returning to their home country to please tell our story to your countrymen.
"The Journey Home" has given us a good head start to the next 30 years. And for this, I would like to thank everyone who made this journey a memorable and fulfilling experience.
Zola is a healthy and happy addition to Victoria’s family, and they both intend to continue to support Operation Smile, bringing smiles to those in need.
When long time volunteer Victoria Racanelli learned about a sweet little French bulldog who was born with a cleft lip and palate, she knew immediately this was the dog for her.
As a student Operation Smile volunteer throughout high school and University, she felt drawn to this dog. Because of the deformity, it would be difficult for the puppy to find a good home and Victoria knew that all this little dog needed was a chance. She made the decision to make the puppy a part of her family and named the little ball of energy, Zola.
Zola underwent surgery when she was 4 weeks old and will require one additional surgery this November to repair a small hole in the roof of her mouth that was not repaired during her first surgery.
As a teacher, Victoria knows how important it is to have someone believe in you and give you a chance. “Operation Smile means a lot to me as a teacher, volunteer and donor but more importantly to the children that the organisation has helped. I see children every day who do not have all of the opportunities I did growing up. Operation Smile gives so many children hope, happiness and the ability to live a normal childhood.”
Zola is a healthy and happy addition to Victoria’s family, and they both intend to continue to support Operation Smile, bringing smiles to those in need.
Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour is Changing Kids Lives Around the World
Fifty Years in the making, the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary World Tour brings Good Vibrations to the UK
The Beach Boys are not only bringing smiles to their audiences around the world but also to children born with cleft lips and palate by supporting Operation Smile during their concerts at the Albert Hall on the 27th September and Wembley Arena on the 28th September. During their amazing 50-song concert, Operation Smile will take center stage for a night of smile-producing donations. The Beach Boys will dedicate their long-time favorite song, “Don’t Worry Baby,” to Operation Smile and performed live against a backdrop of an Operation Smile video montage encouraging the audience to donate £5 to Operation Smile by texting FACE23 £5 to 70070.
WIN AFTERNOON TEA & GOLD CHALLENGE PRESENTATION AT TEAM GB HOUSE
DURING THE GAMES - WEDNESDAY 1st AUGUST 2012
LUCKY FUNDRAISERS CAN WIN A PLACE AT THIS VERY SPECIAL GOLD CHALLENGE EVENT IN TEAM GB HOUSE DURING THE GAMES HOSTED BY THE BRITISH OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION.
To be entered into the ballot, all you have to do is fundraise £500 (or above!) between the 20th June and the 20th July.
Everyone has the chance to join in, regardless of how much you have fundraised to date!
Overlooking the Olympic Stadium, Team GB chef de mission and BOA CEO Andy Hunt said: "Team GB House will be our operational heartbeat during the London 2012 Olympic Games”. Athletes will use it as a private area to relax and it will host all the GB medal winner press conferences.
The prize includes afternoon tea in this fantastic setting, followed by a presentation of your very own Gold Challenge Top Fundraiser Gold Medal at a ceremony hosted by a special guest*. And who knows what Olympic stars will see you get your medal...
All you have to do is raise £500 for Operation Smile and change the lives of 3 children born with clefts
• You have to raise £500 (or more) between 20th June and 20th July to qualify
• It's all about fundraising from the 20th June onwards; unfortunately no fundraising before this time will qualify
• Fundraising must be logged on online fundraising pages
• Your fundraising page URL must be logged on your Gold Challenge MyPage
• Offline fundraising will be checked and verified with charities
• Winners get 1 place at the afternoon tea and medal presentation
• Winners must be aged 16 years and over
• This incentive is open to existing challengers, or anyone who signs up and raises £500+ by the 20thJuly
• Winners will need to arrange their own travel and transport to the event with our help
The Gold Challenge will announce the winners on Friday 20th of July, so best of luck! And keep your eyes on our Facebook and Twitter for fundraising tips, competition updates and photographs, and congratulations to people who hit the £500 mark.
Here's to hitting your fundraising target by the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 27th July.
The Operation Smile Events Team
*medal ceremnony hosts will be announced nearer the time
If you have an investment, there is now a great new way to donate to Operation Smile!
We have just teamed up with InvestSmart, a new commission rebate specialist that offers investors the opportunity to have 50% of their commission charges rebated to their funds or to Operation Smile, without costing them a penny.
If you have an investment, such as a unit trust, stocks and shares ISA or a personal pension you are almost certainly paying trail commission every year. You may not have noticed this as it is automatically deducted from your plan.
InvestSmart Director, Tom Russell, who has over 20 years' experience in the industry, explains that trail commissions charges are typically 0.5% and can amount to thousands of pounds over the life of an investment, yet 93% of investors have never heard of them. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) are stopping these charges from January 2013, but for all investments sold before then commission will still be deducted. With InvestSmart, you can reinvest half of your trail commission back into your fund or if you prefer, you can donate your rebated commission straight to Operation Smile and help change the life children living with a facial deformity.
Find out more and apply for an application pack at www.investsmartuk.co.uk or give InvestSmart a call on 0800 310 1919
Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft condition. Operation Smile is conducting innovative research to better understand clefting and identify its causes, so we can work toward preventing and diminishing the incidence of cleft lip and cleft palate.
Our research is focused on determining the physical and psychological effects on those affected by the deformity, as well as finding ways to best serve this population with optimal care and treatment.
Research is an integral part of working to prevent and treat cleft lip and cleft palate throughout the world, and Operation Smile is collaborating with leaders across numerous disciplines to conduct this essential work.
Some of Operation Smile’s research focus areas include epidemiology, genetics, surgical procedures, speech pathology, dentistry, anaesthesiology and psychology. Essential research is being conducted within Operation Smile’s Comprehensive Care Centres to investigate and understand the efficacy of various approaches and practices in the management and delivery of cleft treatment around the world.
Examples of ongoing research projects include:
International Family Study
- Understanding the Genetic and Environmental Factors Leading to Oral Cleft
This study aims to provide the basis for sustainable international research collaboration to better understand the genetic and environmental factors that cause cleft lip and cleft palate. It is doing so through the establishment and use of a centralised biorepository for genetic samples, clinical data, and environmental exposures.
Multi-Factorial Systematic Assessment and Evaluation of Post-Operative Outcomes
These assessments and evaluations are designed to continuously monitor and evaluate multiple aspects of surgical practices and outcomes to establish and maintain optimal practices and care. Areas of assessment include:
surgical techniques, types of sutures, status of patient’s oral health, cleft severity, and nutritional status.
Importance of the Nutritional Status in Surgical Outcomes of Patients with Cleft Lip
and Cleft Palate
This study explores the magnitude of malnutrition among cleft lip and cleft palate patients and their risk of undesirable outcomes following surgical intervention based on their nutritional status.
Short-term Speech Outcomes in Late Cleft Palate Repairs
This project explores whether patients who undergo a surgery at a later stage in life without accompanying speech therapy experience any improvement in consonant production errors.
Importance of Cleft Category Differentiation in the Study of Associated Factors
The aim of this pilot study is to explore gender differences and evaluate common environmental factors and their associations with specific types of clefts in a heterogeneous population sample.
A Cross-Sectional Comparison of Cleft Lip Severity Across Populations
The goal of this study is to stratify the presentation of oral clefts based on their severity in distinct populations and compare the observed results, searching for any patterns across the study populations.
Reliability of Spanish Articulation and Resonance Ratings Collected on Digitally-Recorded Samples
The purpose of this study is to help in the development of a perceptual assessment tool for use in the clinical practice among Spanish-speaking populations. This tool could be used to systematically record, report, and analyse speech outcomes after cleft palate surgery and/or speech therapy.
For further information regarding Operation Smile's cleft reserach contact
Operation Smile India Featured Charity at India Kids Fashion Week 2012
January 24, 2012 — Rohan Das, Marketing and Fundraising, Operation Smile India
MUMBAI, India – From January 17 to 19, 2012, Operation Smile India was the featured charity in the first edition of India Kids Fashion Week 2012. This was the first event of its kind in India to celebrate and promote children’s fashion.
As a socially responsible event, India Kids Fashion Week chose to support the cause of Operation Smile India and bring awareness to children born with clefts.
India Kids Fashion Week lent significant support in raising awareness about facial deformities and promoted Operation Smile India on their Facebook and Twitter throughout the months of December and January.
Operation Smile India had an information counter at the event venue where visitors could collect information brochures and watch patient’s smile stories that were being played on a large plasma display.
On the evening of the final day of the event, a special show was presented dedicated to Operation Smile India. Aimed at showcasing the work of Operation Smile India and raising awareness about clefts, Operation Smile’s “A Smile Changes Everything" was played which was then followed by a special appearance on the runway by actress, leading child rights activist and Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile India Nandana Sen, along with two former patients - Kiran and Pallavi.
Kiran from Guwahati, Assam, and Pallavi, from Aurangabad, were both born with cleft deformities and received free, life-changing surgeries at Operation Smile’s medical missions.
Both of the little beauties, along with Nandana Sen, daughter of Professor Amartya Sen, a Nobel Laureate Economist from India, instantly stole everyone’s heart with their new smiles and were greeted with a roaring round of applause.
Operation Smile India would like to thank Beebay for dressing Kiran and Pallavi for their big night in their colorful clothes, Elephantstic for gifting the beautiful shoes, and Zoop by Titan for the cool watches they proudly flaunted! And of course, we are grateful to our Smile Ambassador Nandana Sen and the gracious support of everyone at India Kids Fashion Week.
11-Year Old Travels Alone in Ghana with the Hope of Receiving Surgery
Rachel Roper, Program Coordinator, Operation Smile
Fuseina's Journey to a New Smile
Among the 200 patients we screened in Accra, Fuseina inspired us all with her courage and perseverance.
Hailing from a rural village in Ghana, Fuseina works on her family’s farm and was never afforded the opportunity to go to school because of her cleft lip.
Our volunteers learned during screening that she had traveled over 10 hours by bus to Accra with the hope of receiving cleft lip surgery. A mere 11 years old, she made the trek by herself, unaccompanied by her parents.
Although she only spoke a local language that very few understood, we were amazed at her outgoing and friendly nature, even in the face of the unknown. It was clear to the entire team, despite the language barrier, that she was determined to come home with a new smile.
Ridge Hospital in Accra graciously became her guardian, which allowed her to receive surgery. Hospital staff, Operation Smile volunteers, and other patients and their guardians made sure she was cared for, while staying at the shelter awaiting her turn for surgery or recovering in post-op.
We could only imagine the look on her parents’ faces when Fuseina arrived home with bright, new smile! Her perseverance, as well as the hospitality she received, remains a testament to our volunteers’ generous hearts and Operation Smile’s mission to change children’s lives.
- Photos by Brooke Gordon and Peter Stuckings, Operation Smile