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...]

Surgery for other orofacial issues like oral cancer.

  Some of the oral surgeons, head-and-neck experts,  and plastic craniofacial surgeons I often write about also deal with accident victims and cancer patients. Let's look now at one of the conditions these patients endure, oral cancer. (I'll deal with patients with skin cancer and gunshot or auto crash trauma another time.) Before getting to the surgical issues regarding oral cancer, let's examine the basics of this cancer that strikes about 43,000 new Americans each year, according to The Oral … [Read more...]

What’s different about Joaquin Phoenix besides his cleft lip?

It's not just his 'facial difference! Denies his Cleft Lip Actually, Phoenix has created controversy about his lip. He says something--but not a "cleft"--just happened when his mother felt pain at one point during her pregnancy. (Fellow actor Stacey Keach "owns" his cleft.) If "something happened to Phoenix' mom, this had to have been around the 6th week when most cleft lips and palates form. Many doctors feel that his famous  scar is from a microform cleft lip, also known as a "forme … [Read more...]