Monica’s Motivation

Monica-before-and-after

Monica was born with a cleft lip and palate in Snohomish, Washington. As an infant she had to stay in the hospital for months because of her many medical complications. Since then she has had five surgeries pertaining to her cleft, but with strength and determination, Monica made it through it all and is now a healthy student at Glacier Peak High School.

Monica joined her school’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) with the idea to start a fundraiser for less fortunate children with clefts and Smile Train. In the fundraiser’s first year Monica was able to raise enough for money one surgery.

This year, now as Vice President of Community Service for FBLA, Monica had the opportunity to give a presentation in her school’s auditorium about Smile Train and her own personal story. In her speech Monica says, “…a smile is a symbol of peace, happiness, and love.”

“Over my lifetime I have changed from a person who stood on the sidelines and watched life move around me…to a person who took control of my own destiny.  I can say that I am a lot better for it. I was blessed with the opportunity when I received my lifesaving surgery and have had family, friends, and mentors who have supported me throughout my entire life. It is an honor to be able to come to this phenomenal school and stand up on this stage in front of you all today. Unfortunately, those blessings aren’t universal. There are children who get turned away from ever going to school and whose families abandon them.”

Watch Monica’s full presentation here.

This year her school raised enough money for more than six children to get new smiles. Monica says, “Over these past two years, it has been an honor to be able to share Smile Train’s mission and to be able to support an amazing organization that not only gives the gift of a smile, but a gift of hope.”

2 thoughts on “Monica’s Motivation

  1. I’m just wondering what her five surgeries were for? It looks like she had a partial unilateral in her baby pic (which is nothing, really). I was born with bilateral and palate and only had three surgeries…2 when I was a baby for lip and palate and one lip revision during my teens. My wife is also 8 months pregnant with our second son who has a unilateral. We’re hoping he doesn’t need 5 surgeries! Cleft lip and palate repair has come along way since I had mine done in the 70s! Anyways, Keep up the good work Monica! From the Smile Angel Foundation in Beijing, China!

    • Hi Mark. Thanks for reaching out on this. Monica was born with additional complications which impacted her cleft lip and palate repair. It’s common to have multiple revisions throughout childhood to help with things like reducing scar tissue.

      Thank you so much for your support and sharing your story. Congratulations on the upcoming addition to your family and best of luck with your son’s cleft repair.

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