Marjorie post treatment photos

Marjorie’s Story

Marjorie was born with a cleft lip and palate. She recalls many sad times as a young girl with few friends as the appearance of this birth abnormality was scary to her peers and they called her ugly. Besides the immense difficulties of eating, breathing, hearing and speaking that cleft lip and palate presents, Marjorie just wanted to feel like a “normal” girl. We met Marjorie and her parents and sister when she was about 9 years old. She was a sweet shy young lady with a big bright smile. They traveled from Guayaquil to meet with our team with hopes that we could help her. She had already had numerous surgeries to repair a cleft lip and cleft palate. She had a small hole (fistula) in her palate which caused air to leak into her nose and distort her speech. We were able to surgically repair that small hole but her speech remained distorted. Because our Team only spends one week providing surgeries and other necessary health care, we were unable to begin direct speech therapy. Our speech therapist trained Marjorie’s mother Lorena is simple word games and sound activities to help Marjorie improve her speech. For the next 5 years, when we returned to Ecuador, Marjorie and her mother returned. She would work diligently with our speech therapist and was able to correct all her sound distortions. She would tell us she wanted to be a model or a lawyer. Now, Marjorie feels wonderful. She says she sees a girl in the mirror with a beautiful face and a smile. She never became that model but did finish college and law school and today is a lawyer in Guayaquil.