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...]

Lookism: Dr. Oz’ age-reducing elixir?

We've all seen the lookism click-bait before and after shots, esp of celebrities. They try to get us to buy anti-aging products. One that's been getting a lot of attention lately is Parisian Glow cream that claims to have Dr. Oz's endorsement. I've printed excerpts from a recent Parisian Glow ad below. However, if you read that ad carefully, it really suggests only that Dr. Oz recommends Vitamin C, and maybe he has. Whether he's endorsed Parisian Glow or any other anti-aging product is still … [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...]

Lookism & the Resting Bitch Face, II.

This website is dedicated to the face— esp the disfigured, asymmetric, heroic, villainous, or foolish face. This means that the site and my blog take on some pretty interesting topics. In my  blog two weeks ago, I raised the issue of the resting bitch face (RBF) and joked about choosing between a witch or a bitch face mask for Halloween. That would've meant putting frown and anger marks on one's face. Or getting a mask of one of the celebrities who claim (or others claim) to "suffer" from … [Read more...]

Cleft lip news: bullying, ‘Wonder’ movie, Cher’s retreat.

This story by Sara Newman came to my attention recently. It provides useful info for families with cleft lip and palate kids. I've added the info about Cher and her facial differences camps."Anti-bullying messages are prevalent in today’s schools, but some kids still may not understand how mocking someone for their differences can have profound effects that last well beyond the school day.“It breaks my heart,” Michelle Aftimos of Pomfret, [Md] said of the bullying her son, Kyle, 8, has received … [Read more...]