Cleft lip and palate, a congenital condition that happens in the first three months of pregnancy affects the upper lip and the hard and soft palate of the mouth. It is one of the most common birth anomalies in the world. Approximately one in every 700 babies is born with a cleft in North America. Despite extensive research about cleft lip and palate, its’ causes are still unknown.
Children born with cleft lip and palate need the help of a multidisciplinary medical team to treat problems associated with clefts that may develop. The condition affects a child’s appearance, speech, teeth, eating, hearing and ability to develop socially.
In the developed world, the vast majority of children born with cleft lip and palate are treated successfully and lead normal lives. But millions of children and adults in developing countries suffer with unrepaired clefts. Many are abandoned shortly after birth or kept hidden away from society. Most find it difficult to attend school, communicate easily, find jobs or get married.
The good news is that cleft lip and palate can be successfully treated by a combination of surgery and rehabilitation. Transforming Faces believes that no child should be left without the treatment and support of skilled and caring cleft teams, and we work diligently to make that happen. We advocate for comprehensive cleft care, which means quality reconstructive surgery, as well as ongoing rehabilitation.
Help us spread the word about National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month & raise awareness about cleft lip and palate:
- Share this page with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or via email
- Share your story
- Host a fundraiser at your school, workplace or in your community – host a dress down day, compete in a run or host your own event!
- Celebrate your birthday with Transforming Faces! We’ve partnered with ECHOage, a birthday party website that helps kids give to charity while getting great gifts. You can also set up a giving page through Canada Helps.
Need some ideas? Check out how a few of our champions have raised awareness and funds.