Some of you know this and perhaps others don’t, but our daughter, Maia was born with a cleft palate. We found out on day 2, when she had her pediatric check up. Everything checked was perfect until the doctor looked inside her mouth. Instead of a nicely formed hard and soft palate there was a huge gap and we could see straight into her nose. There was nothing to show on the outside that anything was wrong and she was and still is a perfectly healthy little girl, but she couldn’t form a vacuum in her mouth and consequently she couldn’t suck. This meant that we had to feed her pumped milk through a special bottle.
We were very fortunate that we live in the western hemisphere and that surgeries and medical options today are so advanced. Within a couple of days Maia had a plastic mould made for her mouth to give her a false palate until she was old enough to have her first operation at five and a half months. This operation was simply amazing. They gave her a whole soft and hard palate in only a few hours. Since, she has had a follow up operation in July of this year to close the small cleft that had opened back up since the first operation. In fact, we are off to the hospital this afternoon for her to have another picture taken of inside her mouth and a check up on the latest operation.
Images above: 1. Maia with her doctors 2. Feeding with a special bottle 3. After her first operation 4. After her second operation
Image below: 2 days after her second operation, you can see the plastic plate that was sewn into her mouth for a week after the operation.
Not all children are so fortunate to be born in a place where it is standard to have these operations and have the facilities to still feed in a normal way. There is a charity called Operation Smile that helps these children. For a while I have been trying to think about how I can incorporate this charity into my business, it makes sense seeing as I am photographing smiles, my daughter needed the exact same operation herself and we are in a position to be able to give back.
It only costs 250CHF per operation. I add onto each invoice 20CHF that will be sent to the charity. My business pledge is that I will match my client donations. I have worked with over 100 families since I started my business and if each of them gave just 20CHF extra at a shoot, then together we would have created at least 8 additional smiles. If you have already had a shoot with me and are willing to donate 20CHF ($20), then please follow the donate button below to make your donation.
The donation is entirely optional.