Overcoming Adversity: International Day of People with Disabilities Story

Mast before

Mast & his parents before surgery

When Maya Milind Sonsale gave birth to her son, Mast Sangharsh Milind Sonsale, she was shocked, and immediately saddened to discover that he not only suffered from a cleft lip and palate, but also congenital blindness. When her husband saw Mast for the first time, he was so furious that he stormed off, leaving Mast and Maya at Maya’s parents’ house. Maya was upset, because she knew her husband was not the only person who would have that reaction to Mast. During the first four years of Mast’s life, the people in their community did not accept him because of his cleft. Maya also felt that because of his blindness it was even more difficult for him to form bonds with others, including her.

Maya discovered Smile Train when reading the newspaper and found an advertisement for the organization. She was so relieved to hear that Mast could receive free treatment, because there was no chance she could afford the surgery by herself. It took eight hours by car to get to the hospital, but Maya knew the long trip was more than worth it. Now, after the surgery, Mast’s father has returned to his child and wife. Maya now says that they are a happy family. Now that Mast’s cleft is repaired, and the family is reunited, they can work together to help Mast cope with his blindness.

mast after

Mast & his parents after surgery

2 thoughts on “Overcoming Adversity: International Day of People with Disabilities Story

  1. I would appreciate it if you would stop sending me unsolicited letters seeking donations. I don’t believe I have ever joined your organization, but I seem to be getting VERY frequent messages from you.

    I am especially disturbed by seeing photos of afflicted children on the envelope of your letters. For many people, such pictures are quite disturbing and I’m not sure they always send the message you may hope to be sending.

    Lee Torliatt,
    2535 Tachevah Dr.
    Santa Rosa, CA 95405

    • Hi Lee,

      Sorry for the delayed response. We received the note that you sent regarding our mailings. We apologize for the volume of mail you have received and for any offense that it may have caused you, please know that was never our intention. We have removed you from our mailing list.

      Please note that we do set up our mailings in advance in order to obtain the lowest possible postage rates. In light of that, you will receive 1-2 more mailings from Smile Train. Please know that we have respected your wishes and you will not receive anything else from Smile Train once those preset mailings are complete.

      Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any other questions or concerns.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Smile Train

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