Brandon’s Journey with an Undiagnosed Cleft Palate


Brandon is from Lampa in the mountainous region of Northern Chile. No one knew why he struggled to speak clearly, and as soon as he started school, teasing and bullying became his everyday experience.

Brandon’s parents were determined to help him thrive.  They began reaching out to doctor after doctor. Finally, an answer. Brandon was born with a submucosal cleft palate, an anomaly in the tissues of the roof of the mouth. It’s often challenging to detect.

The family was referred to TF’s local partner, Fundacion Gantz, for Comprehensive Cleft Care that would otherwise be impossible to access.  Finally, some hope!

At Fundacion Gantz, they were supported every step of the way by the psychosocial team. With the advice of the psychologist, Brandon’s parents decided to move Brandon to a new school, for a fresh start.   Brandon has learned new skills to navigate the psychosocial aspects of cleft while he continues to improve his communication through speech therapy. At his new school, Brandon feels supported and included.

Today, Brandon flourishes. He is a confident and social young man who likes to give back to others.  He even grows his hair long so that it can be donated to make wigs for patients undergoing cancer treatment. Through Fundacion Gantz’s psychosocial program, Brandon’s parents received the support they needed to help their son thrive. They shared:  “Psychosocial support has given us the confidence to be supportive as Brandon receives care. When we arrived, we were very anxious and had no knowledge of cleft”

As Brandon awaits his upcoming palate surgery, he looks forward to each appointment with the team at Fundacion Gantz.

Brandon receives cleft care at TF's partner in Chile

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