Dallas Charity Transforming Facial Deformities

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A before and after from one of the the World Craniofacial Foundation's patients. | Image from Guide Star

About one in every five hundred children in the world are born with some facial deformity. They can range from mild to severe and from unproblematic to life-altering and even life-threatening. Many of these children are born in countries without quality healthcare. Thankfully, the World Craniofacial Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of those born with facial deformities, young and old.

The foundation was created in 1989 and provides an array of services to patients with disfigurements and their families. The foundation’s founder is credited for bringing craniofacial surgery to the Southwest, and specifically Texas.

In the year 1979, Dr. Slayer performed the first official craniofacial surgery to treat hypertelorism. His efforts soon expanded, and Dr. Slayer completed hundreds upon hundreds of these craniofacial surgeries annually. Following this, in the 1980s, Dr. Salyer and his team of highly-regarded and professional fellow surgeons set out to open what we now know as the World Craniofacial Foundation.

Their services include ease of access to surgery, funding for medical procedures, and food and shelter. The foundation also offers programs that train physicians in craniofacial work, educating the public, and more.

Having a facial deformity is likely to cause physical pain and mental strain, and stress on the patient and their families. The goal of the World Craniofacial Foundation is to perform therapy and operations to help the patient feel as good about themselves as possible while also attempting to lessen their pain and stress.

The foundation defines its vision statement this way: “The World Craniofacial Foundation provides help, hope, and healing for children with craniofacial abnormalities and their families. We work tirelessly so that, someday, all people with craniofacial abnormalities will receive transformative care- regardless of geography or socio-economic class. The World CF is the global leader in advocacy for excellent craniofacial patient care, education, and research, as well as the primary resource for philanthropic support.”

One major thing the foundation frequently deals with is cleft lips and tumors. These can range from unnoticeable to intense and deadly. A cleft lip is a common facial deformity that is relatively common and can be treated with surgery. Tumors can occur nearly anywhere in the body. Modern medicine has made it much easier for surgeons to remove tumors from congenital disabilities with very few lasting impacts in recent years.

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