On October 19, 2012 our son Mikey was born with a unilateral cleft lip and cleft palate. It was completely unexpected and came as a shock to myself, my husband Mike and our family. I was devastated. I believed Mikey would never have a normal life. I selfishly thought "Why me, what did I do to deserve this?! I am a good person and so is my husband, I don't understand, this isn't fair". I then went on trying to figure out how I would hide him from the world. People would stare and make fun of him, I needed to protect him. I already loved him so much and wanted to make sure he was safe and happy.
At the time we knew so little about his condition and had to educate ourselves practically overnight. We quickly learned that it was fixable over time but he would have to endure many surgeries. Although that gave us hope, it was still difficult to accept knowing what Mikey would be going through. There was also a lot more to it than just the cosmetic part. Mikey had to drink from a special bottle because he could not suck due to the large hole in the roof of his mouth, he would have hearing loss, multiple ear infections and possibly speech problems. In the future he may need bone grafts where the cleft was so a tooth can grow.
Despite all of these challenges we know with Mikey's strength and incredible spirit he will overcome them, all of them. He has already come so far, enduring four surgeries by the time he was 18 months old. He amazed everyone as he recovered from each of his surgeries with a smile on his face.
We have been incredibly fortunate to get the best care for him at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Mulliken, his nurses and staff have been amazing, not only with the surgeries Mikey has undergone, but emotionally they have made a difficult situation much easier for our family to cope with. They helped us accept Mikey's condition so we could move forward and be strong for him. They made me realize that all of these things I was feeling were normal and not to be ashamed.
Looking back now, I realize that it is because Mike and I are good, kindhearted people, that Mikey chose us to be his parents. He knew that we would love him unconditionally, with all of our hearts and together we would have the strength we needed get through this.
Mikey will be two years old next month and is a healthy, active and very happy little boy! We are truly blessed and proud to be his parents.
We are participating in this fundraiser because we want to give back and make sure that other children born with these conditions get the treatment that they all deserve. We also want to raise awareness and educate people on this as it is one of the leading birth defects in America. And most of all give people and their families the support they need to get through this.
Thanks to all of our family and friends for donating last year, we were able to raise $1,295!
Please click on "DONATE To This Fundraiser" to the right to donate to Team Mikey-M3. We appreciate any amount you can give! Even though the walk is Sep 13, 2014, the deadline to give is Dec 31, 2014.
For more information, please visit: http://www.pacesforfaces.com