Archives for May 2014

Cleft lip superstitions, Surgeries.

"Cleft beliefs and surgeries—Then and now," a Guest blog by journalist Jenni Perez Karl Schonborn, the author of “Cleft Heart Chasing Normal,” is not the only person to social stigma due to  a cleft. This is because cleft lips are fairly common birth defects, affecting more than 1 in 600 children worldwide (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research). The first documented cleft lip surgery was in China around 390 BC on 18 year old Wey Young-Chi, who would later become a … [Read more...]

Largest cleft lip research effort ever.

 The Cleft Collective studies cleft lip and palate. An almost $19 million dollar  program promises to have an important, maybe even global impact, on cleft lip and palate understanding and care. In fact, some scientists say this largest ever research program into clefts will bring huge benefit to cleft patients and their families around the world. The program, launched in March 2012, is called The Cleft Collective ( Wouldn't you know the words would be a tad different across the pond? And … [Read more...]

Help promote “Cleft lip and palate Week.”

Special week to boost cleft lip kids' confidence? Americans devote many weeks every year to awareness efforts or consciousness raising re this or that health issue. Why not have a special week for cleft kids. After all, cleft lips and palates are the most common birth defect, after heart defects. Not every cleft kid has a family able to pay for a cleft camp in their state or a gathering somewhere across the country for cleft kids. So, at least a special week, or even a special day, for such … [Read more...]

Older cleft lip kids & adults need Support

Cleft Lip Awareness Week. This is Cleft Awareness Week and one campaign in the U.K. is using the time to highlight the fact that many people affected by cleft lip and palate don't get much support, especially as adults. In Western countries, traditional cleft care normally ends around the age of 18 years. As a result, little is known about the longer-term outcomes of those living with cleft lip and/or palate. This is part of why I wrote Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal: to give people an idea of how … [Read more...]

Date a harelip? Cont’d.

Harelip, cleft lip? What's in a word? Using the word harelip in these times is a bit like using the N-word or other slang words for minorities. It's offensive to cleft-affected people and an indication of ignorance about the birth defect commonly known as a "cleft lip."  Actually, doctors and scientists often use the medical term, cheiloschisis. See other technical terms for clefts and their repair. I'll continue now with more responses to an Asker's question on Ask Yahoo, "Would you … [Read more...]

Channeling Malcolm X and Jonathan Trumbull on Book tour

An update on Cleft Heart,  the first-ever memoir written about the cleft experience by a cleft. East  Coast --North-- book tour.  I’m excited that my first East Coast tour for Cleft Heart is about to start. A serious family illness delayed it after my successful West Coast tour last fall. If you live in the northern part of the East Coast, especially in New York or Connecticut, here's a chance to ask me anything about the book face to face. I'll be at the Audubon Med Center Bookstore in … [Read more...]

Date a person with a Harelip?

Before dealing with a topic I encountered throughout my adolescence and young adulthood, a few words about Jack Dupree and the lyrics to the song he sang in the You Tube video posted in my last blog. Singing the "Harelip Blues." So here's what I found out about the song, but not becasue of Snopes (see prior blog). I dug a bit and found--according to a Wiki article--that Jack Dupree sometimes used the equivalent of poetic license for singers—an artistic conceit—by singing as if he had a cleft … [Read more...]