Stars Autograph Ornaments for #celebritiesforsmiles

December 9, 2014 9:53 PM

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As the mother of three children who were born with a rare medical condition called facial paralysis, as well as other physical challenges, I know first hand the importance of a smile in a child's life and the life of their family. The smile, is, of course, the happy part. Smiles are what songs are written about, and most people take for granted, but for children who suffer from facial deformity, like ours, the serious part, is an inability to speak or eat properly. My children all required feeding tubes for the first six to 12 weeks of their lives. They have endured hours upon hours of speech therapy and have had more than 20 surgeries as a result of their medical challenges. For more common facial deformities, such as cleft lip or cleft palate, studies indicate that one child in ten in the developing world born with cleft palate will die before their first birthday.

Four years ago, when I decided to support the volunteer work of my children's surgeon by hosting a fundraiser at my home for Operation Smile, a non-profit medical charity that provides free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to children in more than 60 countries, it was for many of my friends in my ...

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