Support a cleft kid who’s endured much pain.

Hoping you can send some positive energy to an 11 year-old midwestern boy named Tyler. He’s scheduled to have another cleft lip/palate surgery this Thursday, June 18.

Bilateral clefts experience extra pain.

According to his brave and resourceful mom who wrote me a heartfelt note* the other day,  Tyler’s had it tough of late. He feels like an outcast because bullies lay into him and call him names. As a bilateral cleft born with gaps to the left and right of the midline, I’d warrant a guess that Tyler’s had twice the surgeries, twice the speech therapy sessions, and born twice the burdens we unilateral clefts bear.
Tyler also gets anxious about his surgeries. Who wouldn’t? He’s slotted to have a bone graft redo this week since the double graft to close his bilateral cleft palate last summer took on only one side. This isn’t surprising since that surgeryalso attempted to alter the upper jaw bone that supports his front teeth AND close openings (fistulae) through his gums which extended from his mouth to his nose.

Getting detailed and graphic.

Go here if you enjoy pictures of medical procedures. The diagram shows a procedure that harvests bone from one’s pelvis to be used for grafts necessary in the upper jaw (premaxilla, maxilla, palate, etc.). The diagram is provided by the people at Doe Report. A technical description of what surgeons do in these cases is provided here.

As you can see from the pictures below, Tyler is becoming a handsome young man. He just needs our thoughts, prayers, karmic wishes, etcetera (whatever your modality) at this time. And after that, he needs our intolerance for those who bully people who are different growing up.


Thank you. I stumbled upon your website after another evening of my bilateral cleft son going to the park and getting blasted with the plethora of names they call him, and I once again search for some inspiration to give him.

My son is 11 and  has been made fun of so much that he really has become a social outcast. He started school in a new state last year and after years has zero friends. The names they call him. I try to impress upon him that some day these people will mean less than nothing in the grand scheme of life.

The issue is so much more than just looking different than the other kids, who have no clue about the physical and mental pain he endures, especially his fear of surgery.  I often wish people could spend 24 hours in his skin to understand how it feels. 

There are not enough words to explain how hard it is to watch the world watch Tyler.  Spreading a message of hope as you are doing is a powerful thing. So, thank you very much.

Beth Reuschel



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To learn about CLEFT HEART: Chasing Normal, click the Amazon or Barnes & Noble buttons in the margins. Or click the image of the book cover. My coming-of-age memoir has intertwining love stories, mystery, tragedy, and triumph.


  1. Beth Reuschel says:

    Thank you Karl!! I’ll keep you posted 🙂

  2. Eclectic Mike says:

    Hello, I have bilateral CL&P as well and I also endured the tauntings, names, etc. yes, the stares and prejudgements from people get so old, its irritating. Tell him that life reserves the toughest challenges for the strongest people and that he was chosen a tougher path because life wants him to experience life from a different perspective. Also, it is very important for him to partake in activities he truly enjoys, because in the end, its the positive experiences in life that count. No one can take those away from us. (For example, take him out to the movies the day he has an appointment). It is also important to tell him the wise proverb from Dr. Seuss, “Those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.” Remind him that he needs to be happy and not let the superficial trolls steal away his happiness from life. There are people who love and care for him, all the best to this brave soul! 🙂

  3. Eclectic Mike,
    Your bilateral cleft lip and palate—and of course your loved ones—have taught you what’s important in life. Thanks for your and other people’s (Dr. Seuss) wisdom. Tyler, readers of my blog, and I are better off for your sage advice.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge