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Fresh Start Surgical Gifts set to host first 2023 surgery weekend January 21 & 22 - Charities for Children, Organizations to Help Children

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts set to host first 2023 surgery weekend January 21 & 22

SAN DIEGO – January 17, 2023 – As the new year is in full swing, national nonprofit, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, is hosting its first 2023 Surgery Weekend where its mission to change lives comes to life. On January 21 and 22, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts will be transforming nine children’s lives, including three port-wine stain patients: Andrea (5), Grecia, (11) and Edwin (2), all treated by Fresh Start Volunteer and Dermatologist, Dr. Bari Cunningham, at the world-renowned Rady Children’s Hospital.  

Andrea and Edwin are two of Fresh Start’s many returning patients and Grecia is a new Fresh Start patient. The three of them will receive treatment for their port-wine stain birthmarks. These birthmarks are swollen blood vessels that create red and or purple discoloration on the skin. With this medical treatment considered cosmetic and not being covered by insurance, each of these patients were facing tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, until they found a solution with Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. 

At Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, the nonprofit accepts patients from newborn to young adulthood from across the U.S. Andrea has traveled to San Diego with her father, Israel, to receive seven consecutive treatments for her port-wine stain birthmark that was covering her face. The family has never received a bill for anything that involved her traveling, surgeries, treatment and has never paid anything at all regarding follow-up care as in bandages or medication. A patient with a similar case, Grecia, heard about Fresh Start through Andrea’s father, and is set to receive her first treatment with Fresh Start to treat her port-wine stain birthmark covering the right side of her face. 

Like Andrea, Edwin, who is two years old, began his Fresh Start journey at just a few months old. His mother was trying to find solutions to treat his port-wine stain birthmark that covered most of his face and ended up paying for a few very expensive laser treatments for him. However, he still needed care and there was a lack of affordable treatment options for his birthmark. It wasn’t until his mother reached out to Fresh Start Surgical Gifts that her hope of her son receiving treatment was restored. The nonprofit openly accepted Edwin as a long-term patient, and this will be his second treatment for his port-wine stain birthmark. 

These stories are only a small portion of what Fresh Start Surgical Gifts does for children and their families around the world. Each year the organization transforms the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged infants, children and teens with physical and cosmetic deformities by providing reconstructive surgery at absolutely no cost to patients or their families. World-renowned surgeons donate their time and expertise to offer them the medical care they need, and essentially, a fresh start in life.    

To efficiently provide care and corrective surgery for the children’s deformities, Fresh Start hosts nine surgery weekend cycles annually. Each cycle provides patients with two days of intensive surgeries along with supporting medical treatments, such as dental, orthodontics, laser, and speech therapy. Fresh Start’s volunteer medical professionals are highly qualified and strive to empower the confidence of these children.  

With over 56 million dollars in value of medical care donated since Fresh Start began, Fresh Start will continue to care and transform these nine patients at no cost during every step of their treatment and recovery journey.  

“There is truly nothing like seeing the joy on these children’s faces. None of which would be possible without our incredible team of doctors, nurses and volunteers who donate their time and talent to truly change lives forever,” says Shari Brasher, CEO of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. “Of course, we owe it all to our amazing donors whose support means the world to us. It’s how we’ve been able to do this amazing work for 32 years and counting.” 

Since 1991, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts has helped 8,818 children and has expanded into multiple regions throughout the U.S., headquartered in San Diego, with locations in Chicago and now San Antonio. The organization has also partnered with Sanford Health, a healthcare system that is the only children’s hospital in South Dakota with one goal of making screenings, healthcare, and treatments available and accessible for as many children as possible. Fresh Start accepts applications on an ongoing basis. Children may be cared for in San Diego, San Antonio, or Chicago. 

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts remains committed to helping improve the lives of children and families across the U.S., partnering with organizations that share their mission and vision. For more information on Fresh Start Surgical Gifts or to make a donation, visit For media inquiries, contact Bianca Kasawdish at   


Fresh Start Surgical Gifts transforms the lives of disadvantaged infants, children and teens who have physical and cosmetic deformities through their gift of reconstructive surgery. Providing reconstructive, plastic and neurosurgeries for children across the U.S., Fresh Start’s commitment to children extends far beyond medical care. The organization ensures their children will leave feeling more empowered than before. Every child receives the highest quality medical care and the families never see a bill for the services provided. 100% of contributions go directly to medical programs. To learn more, visit