BENEFITING: The Foundation for Faces of Children
EVENT DATE: Sep 22, 2013
Jennie Keniston wrote -
Dear Friends and Family,
I was born with a unilateral cleft lip and at just six weeks old I had surgery to correct the birth defect. Although I am so very grateful to have had surgery so early in my life, I still carry the scar with me. For most of my life I resented the scar on my lip, and kids would often ask me about it, which made me even more self-conscious. However, when I was 17 I had the chance to do a civic consciousness project for Foundation for Faces of Children to raise funds and awareness for craniofacial conditions such as cleft lips and cleft palates. It took me 18 years but I can remember the exact moment when I finally "embraced" my scar.......
It was in Dallas, Texas at the international DECA conference my friend, Alicia and I were competing in with our awareness campaign for craniofacial disorders. The judges were calling the top 25 (out of 400) winners for our category. I was so nervous, we had worked so hard and spent so many hours on our project, but then it hit me. It was at that moment that I realized winning really didn't matter. I hated being "different" all my life, but it was then I realized that I was born like this for a reason, to make a difference in people’s lives who were born with the same condition, to embrace my difference and make it a positive thing in my life instead of running away from it. If I had not been born with a cleft lip, I wouldn't have raised money and awareness for this Foundation that impacts so many lives in New England. It was at this realization that it didn't matter if I won any longer, I had won the battle I had fought with myself and my subconscious for so long, and it was then that I was actually GRATEFUL for my scar and the person who it helped me become. A minute later we were called and won 7th place in the world for a civic consciousness project.
"I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap.” -Unknown
Where we overlap is the common goal to help one another and to help those in need of support. This is where I ask all of you, my friends, family, and acquaintances to donate what you can to help make a difference in someone’s life today.
Lots of Love,
Thank you so much for all of the love and support you have shown me with my endeavor to give back and support an amazing organization, Foundation for Faces of Children.
With your help I raised $1,690 last year- I'm hoping to reach $2,000 this year!
You're contribution will help fund many of our goals this year including our challenge to distribute a new video that FFC published "Cleft Lip and Palate: Helping the Newborn Thrive". The video demonstrates the challenges of feeding a newborn with a cleft lip/palate and how to overcome these challenges. We are hoping to distribute this video to craniofacial teams across the world to ensure no child starves because of their birth defect.