Male privilege, sex, and the fall of a cleft icon.

An op ed piece in Friday's Washington Post helped make up my mind re former congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). The op ed author described a classic case of male privilege in action. The writer Melissa Richmond* is currently vice president of Running Start, an organization that encourages women to run for political office.   Richmond wrote that she thought she'd lost out on a career in politics after an encounter with Rep. Franks eight years ago. In her own words: I’ve always been proud … [Read more...]

How to be a CLEFT HEART book booster and reap rewards.

Thought some of you Cleft Heart book fans might get a kick out of seeing a photo (top right of the collage below) of politicians Pelosi and Schumer under an umbrella in D.C, back in the day. Actually, it's my sister Barbara and me in front of the U.S. Capitol after my dad mustered out of the military as a journalist in Washington, D.C. for the Navy's All Hands magazine. My loving sis  wrote last year about growing up with a brother with clefts here and here. She wanted to add to the book I'd … [Read more...]

My brother’s clefts: When birth defects aren’t defects-Compete & Cooperate

A Disability, or Not? By Barbara Schonborn I didn’t think my brother Karl had birth defects. Nor did I think his cleft lip and cleft palate were disabilities. When we were children, Karl was just my competitor or my buddy. Brother with no birth defects completes the family. Steven, my second brother, was born when our family lived next door to our grandparents Schonborn in a rural neighborhood of Puyallup, Washington. Steven had no birth defects. His nose and mouth were normal, and he … [Read more...]

My brother’s clefts: When birth defects aren’t defects – Infancy to surgery.

I didn’t think of my brother Karl’s cleft lip and cleft palate as birth defects or disabilities.   These birth defects a disability, or not? Guest blog by Barbara Schonborn** Part One: From Infancy to early surgeries. A Princess Usurped. Until I was almost two years old, my life was idyllic. My mother read to me often—I sitting in her lap, a book in mine. She sewed clothes for me, cooked for my father and me, and took me to the Sunday nursery at our church in Boise, Idaho. I knew how … [Read more...]

July is National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness month: Two special blogs coming soon.

In honor of  National Cleft & Craniofacial Disorders Month, I'm planning two special posts in the upcoming weeks from a guest blogger. Stay tuned and be ready to be surprised and informed.   Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders Month. Go here for information about the meaning of this July's commemoration and for info about the many organizations supporting it. Also, consider donating a copy of Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal to one of these organizations . . . or to your dentist or … [Read more...]

How countries rank re cleft lip & palate needs.

On a day when many of us see people around the world celebrating New Years on TV, I thought it appropriate to consider how cleft lip care resources vary around the world.There are many countries in the world where patients with cleft lip and palate cannot get access to specialized cleft repair. Flying surgeons and other types of cleft medical missions play an important role in providing surgical care to the areas of the world with limited resources.                                               … [Read more...]

How can Santa make the Holidays happy? By delivering 3D printers for cleft lip surgery.

You may see Santa and his reindeer streaming thru the sky tonight or see them on those radar images TV newscasters use to chart his path from the North Pole. If so, let's hope that he's delivering 3-D printers which'll help countries around the world take better care of  cleft lip and palate kids. 3D printers.What do I mean?  Well, let me first describe how 3D printers  work in case you're not familiar with this cutting-edge technology.  According to one source, the first step in the printing of … [Read more...]