Joshua’s story captures the best of the holiday season: joy, hope and promise. 

However, his story would have been very different, if it weren’t for TF supporters like you.

Meeting Joshua

Juan and Maria describe the moments after their son, Joshua, was born “like a nightmare.” Everyone in the delivery room was quiet, and no one would tell them what was wrong. The nurse initially refused to allow Maria to see her son, worried that it would be too upsetting for her.

When Juan and Maria were finally allowed to meet their baby boy, their fear was palpable: “Will he die?” 

Amidst tears, they were told that Joshua would not be able to feed properly, or sleep normally. They were told that he would need surgery and ongoing care – for up to the first 18 years of his life.

Juan and Maria were overwhelmed.

“How will we afford the care our son needs?”

From Fear to HopeBaby Joshua _ Peru _ Cleft lip and palate

Juan and Maria live in a small, tidy house on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. They share their home with their three children and their niece. Juan leaves the house at 5AM every morning to sell chickens in the city.

The family knew very little about cleft when their son was born. Luckily, they were referred to TF’s partner in Peru – and from that moment on, Joshua and his family has had access to support every step of the way.

Today, with gratitude and pride, Juan and Maria recount 4-month-old Joshua’s progress in sleeping (like an angel!), feeding (regularly!) and growing (7kgs!). He’s receiving NAM treatment, a pre-surgical technique used to help reshape a baby’s nose, gums and lips. Maria travels 1.5 hours each way on a crowded bus to Joshua’s frequent appointments, but is delighted by his progress. His big brother and sister tell us that they love their little brother very much!

Looking to the Future

Joshua’s family knows that he will continue to face challenges. Maria is often asked whether Juan will abandon the family because of Joshua’s condition. Both parents are worried that Joshua might face bullying at school. Joshua will also be ready for his initial cleft repair surgery soon – which is both exciting and, understandably, nerve-wracking for his parents.

But they are so grateful to Transforming Faces and our supporters – like you – for continuing to guide them along this journey to a happier, healthier life for their son.

TF’s comprehensive cleft care is a good news story for Joshua. As the holiday season approaches, we hope you will consider supporting Transforming Faces, and giving the gift of hope to families like Joshua’s.


Juan and Maria would be among the first to tell you that your donation indeed transforms lives.