A cleft lip and cleft palate is an incredibly uncomfortable birth defect. Not only does the lip look uncomfortable, it provides challenges to the child early in life. One of the first concerns is the ability to breast feed. The gap in the lip makes it very difficult to suck on the breast and can lead to malnutrition. Not only does the gap in the lip cause problems, but the crevasse inside the mouth makes getting food down a difficult task as well. So before the baby even knows of its challenging circumstances, it is having difficulty feeding.
Surgery for this condition is recommended to take place within the first year of life, or at least the first 18 months of life. But poor and impoverished families with children effected by cleft lip and palate do not have access to this type of surgery and must struggle through a life of challenges. And as the child grows older, they will become acutely aware of how uncomfortable the condition looks to others, leading to difficulty in making friends and depression.
That’s where Operation Smile comes into play. It is a non-profit charity organization that donates cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries to those in need around the world. It is a collective of dentists and philanthropists that aim to erradicate socioeconomic injustice that plagues a large part of the world’s population. Only 4% of these types of surgeries are performed on impoverished global citizens, and this collective aims to change that.
And Operation Smile has a big time partner in Avi Weisfogel. The New Jersey-based dentist has turned to GoFundMe in order to raise awareness and money for Operations Smile. And it is fitting. Ari is a New Jersey native that loves helping people. His father is a cardiologist in the state, so Ari was introduced to helping others through the medical profession at an early age. And he loves his job.
He gets to go to work every day to help the people of New Jersey and he is passionate about bringing the best, most cutting edge care to his patients. The state requires him to complete 40 hours of continuing education every year and he does so gleefully, always looking for a better way to help people. Now his reach is expanding through his work with the Operation Smile Campaign. Together, they are bringing brighter futures to those effected in New Jersey and around the world. Follow Avi on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the campaign.