Blaise lived with an untreated cleft palate for 12 years before meeting the Global Smile Foundation (GSF) Team in 2010 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. She is the only member of her family born with a cleft. She told our volunteers that she attended school, but was teased by her classmates who said that she had a “broken mouth” and even threw rocks at her. Unfortunately, many GSF patients and families tell similar stories of being bullied or shunned—even by family members.
After her surgery, Blaise was happy to see how her lip was now complete and told our team that she would be able to go back to school without being bullied. Cleft care enables GSF patients to integrate into their schools and communities and live fuller lives.