Cleft lip and palate are among the most treatable birth defects in this country. In impoverished countries, many children grow up with unrepaired clefts due to lack of access to specialized surgical care. This often leads to social isolation as well as speech, feeding, and hearing problems.
When LEAP was in Zimbabwe in 2014, we learned of Ronald and newborn sister Thanxgod (pictured right with volunteer Linda Hardison), two of five children belonging to a mother who had to permanently leave her village and travel hundreds of miles to get surgical care for her two children with clefts. We were all inspired by her sacrifices and commitment to seeking care for her children for what is considered a standard surgical repair in the US.