Friday, 13 September 2013

Calling All College Students {And anyone else with a heart for kids!}

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions related in this post are of my own. As always, I continue my strive to bring you only content that is relative and relatable to family life and Christian values.

Have you heard of cleft lip before? What about cleft palate?

Pic Credit
I’d heard about them and to be honest, living in a third world country, I’ve seen a few in person. Of course, I realize that this isn’t something that only affects third world countries, it is obviously a terrible condition that affects thousands across the world regardless of economic standing. It is, however, unfortunate that in countries such as South Africa and across the world, so many living with this condition do not have the capabilities to receive proper medical treatment.

So, what is this that I’m talking about?

Cleft lip or cleft palate is something that occurs when the baby is still in the womb. It occurs early in fetal development as a result of there not being enough facial tissue to properly join the facial area together.

A cleft palate, as pictured below, is where the soft and/or hard tissues of the roof of the mouth are not joined resulting in an opening in the roof of the mouth.

Pic Credit
A cleft lip is a split in the upper lip and can extend into the nasal cavity and include the upper jaw and/or gum in its devastating effects.

Pic Credit
These conditions can occur on either side of the mouth and can occur separately or together.

This condition, although studies prove where it is more common, is not prejudice or racial. It occurs in boys and girls of all races, sizes, and economic standings. It is the fourth common birth defect in the US and affects as many as 1 in 700 births yearly!

In general, we don’t know exactly why anyone is born with cleft lip. And as far as medical knowledge goes today, it is unpreventable.

There is speculation as to certain medication taken by mother having caused it or certain environmental factors increasing the risk. They have proven that the chances of a child having one of these conditions is greater if a sibling has had it, proving a genetic relation within cleft.

At the end of it all, we can see how detrimental this can be to a child or even an adult! In more remote locations of the world, babies with cleft lip/ palate are exposed to a very high chance of death from malnutrition. Mothers are not provided with the education, support, and care to properly feed a baby with these conditions resulting in failed latching where breastfeeding is the only option for baby feeding.
Where medical care is made available, special bottles and nipples can be provided to assist in feeding as well as man-made palates to prevent the leaking of the milk.

Babies with cleft palate are also more prone to ear infections. The fluids constantly drain into the middle ear causing build up. If left untreated, this can cause hearing loss. In areas where medical treatment is available, tubes can be inserted to help with drainage until surgical treatment can be provided.

Additionally, children with cleft can suffer from speech impairment and dental problems.
In society today, it is all too easy to see how such a visible deformity will affect a child physical, mentally, socially and emotionally. This is not something that can be hidden away and dealt with another day. It’s a very real problem causing long term affects.

Amazingly, it is treatable...even curable! And a wonderful organization called OperationSmile is working to do just that!

Operation smile describes themselves in this way:
            Operation Smile is an international children's medical charity that heals children's smiles, forever changing their lives.

Oh, how amazing! It’s absolutely beautiful! I love the way they phrase it as “heals children’s smiles.” Imagine being a dad and seeing your daughter truly smile for the first time after years of failing to do it. Or a mother hearing her son sing for the first time after longing for it for so long!

You can find out so much about this organization at their website. But let me share with you a couple of facts about what they do! They state that a child is born with cleft every 3 minutes and one in ten of these children don’t live to see their first birthday.

They believe that every child deserves the opportunity to a happy fulfilled life. And that is what they’re working to do! They train doctors in remote areas and work to build up the health care in the over 60 countries they currently endeavor in.

They provide free medical care including plastic surgery, speech therapy, and dental care. In working to properly train the medical facilities, they are increasing the health of the entire community! Lowering the risk of surgical related diseases and increases the ability to provide the necessary care and treatment post-surgery!

They aren’t just fixing a facial deformity, they are working to improve the overall quality of life for thousands involved!

So, right now I want to reach out to all the college students out there! You spend hundreds of dollars a year on books. A great program through donates to Operation Smile with every book you rent from them!

Let’s face it....text books are a fact of life that you have to contend with when attaining higher education. And they can put a pretty little dent in that budget of yours. Some great perks through is first and foremost, a savings of anywhere from 40-90% off the bookstore prices! That’s right, peeps, you’re going to save money!

Additionally, it’s free shipping! So don’t worry about loosing those savings by sending the books all over the country! And go ahead and highlight those books up! Make your notes and scribble just as if they books were your own! Don’t worry about penalties for this upon returning the books!

And just like I mentioned donates to Operation Smile with every book you rent from them!

Do you still have some textbooks that you’ve bought and paid for but aren’t using anymore? That’s great because has another affiliate through Rent Back! Through Rent Back, you can rent out those textbooks you’ve paid for earning yourself 2-4x the amount you would have gotten by reselling them to the bookstores! Have a look at the video below for more information!

Not a college student or grad with books to sell? That’s okay you can still get involved with Operation Smile at their website! Go check it out!

Please spread the word about and the work they’re doing! We all know a college student somewhere than can definitely benefit from a little more dough in their sack!

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Shana Danae..

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