Read Angela’s bilateral cleft lip and palate story, and her journey from a shy and timid child to a strong and confident young woman.
Angela was born with bilateral complete cleft lip and palate. Angela came from a large family in San Diego that were unable to pay for the many treatments her condition required. Luckily, a neighbor told Angela’s family about Fresh Start’s dental and bilateral cleft lip surgery for Children and at 18 months Angela underwent 2 major surgeries; since then, Angela has undergone countless additional surgeries, dental procedures, evaluations, and speech therapy sessions. We are proud of her successful reconstructive surgery story.
Angela has received approximately 20 medical treatments annually for over 17 years, including free bilateral cleft lip and palate surgeries, dental procedures, preventative health education, and speech therapy services. In total, Angela has received over $200,000 in donated medical care from Fresh Start’s volunteer medical professionals. Angela is still currently receiving dental care and speech therapy through Fresh Start’s specialty clinics—she last received care from Fresh Start at the March 2013 Surgery Weekend on March 3rd where she attended a Speech Therapy Clinic. Even after Angela has completed the Program in the next few years, she will continue to receive follow-up exams to ensure that she remains healthy and confident.
Angela has come a long way from the little girl she once was, her family says, “When she was little she was so timid. She wouldn’t look in the mirror. Over the years, with all the help she’s received, she has become friendlier and more approachable.”
Angela has transformed throughout her journey with Fresh Start – she is now the first person in her family to attend college and dreams of a profession where she can give back to her community. She says, “Thanks to Fresh Start, I now have a goal in my life that I want to achieve. I want to be a child development & adolescent specialist because one of my passions is to help other children.”