The Jane C. McDaid Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Cameron Blanks from Scituate, Mass. He graduated from Scituate High School.
In many ways I think this journey has enriched our lives. Of course we have our struggles, and certainly sending this happy little baby in for surgery every few months has not been easy. But becoming a part of the Children’s Hospital and cleft lip-palate communities has been a real blessing.
In 1989, Andrew Livingstone was born without a blemish, but two weeks later, a strawberry red growth began to bloom on his upper lip. At age three months, the mass enlarged quickly, extending up to his nose. It became an open sore, which would scab over, only to ulcerate again and again. Andrew’s pediatrician diagnosed the condition as a hemangioma and referred his parents, Seth and Marcy, to renowned expert, plastic surgeon John Mulliken, MD, at Children’s Hospital Boston.
In Your Own Words My name is Emily. My older brother was born with a cleft lip and palate. If you asked me if that makes him different than any other teenage boy, I’d tell you no.
Jesse Kristin has had more than his share—10 facial operations, extensive orthodontic work and, as a child, not knowing how to respond when other kids asked about his cleft lip/palate. But at age 19, Kristin spends little time thinking about the past. He is busy attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he majors in biology and, when possible, performs with The Sunday Mail, a piano-based rock band for which he plays drums.
The only technique available in the early days of surgical correction of craniosynostosis was the simple release of the fused suture via a large scalp incision. While effective in some children, this method had a high failure rate because the cranial bones would fuse back together before the brain was able to re- create the normal shape of the skull.
Carolyn Macedo recalls the awful feeling in the pit of her stomach. She had never heard the word craniosynostosis when her daughter, Nicole, was diagnosed with it. But she soon understood what it meant. The craniofacial condition causes a baby’s head to develop abnormally due to the premature closing of the seams between the bones.
On August 6, Governor Deval Patrick signed a law mandating insurance coverage for treatment of cleft lip and/or palate for children under the age of 18. A ceremonial signing, attended by supporters, was held at the State House on October 1.