Travel back in time to last year. I had just agreed to fundraise $50,000 dollars for Smile Train to go to the Ironman World Championships. It was a regular Sunday where my fiance and I were out shopping. We stopped by a Lululemon store in La Jolla and met a young lady who happened to have cleft lip and it was repaired. Now at this time I only knew about cleft lip from what I saw on TV and my friends who had fundraised for Smile Train, so I didn’t really know about it first hand or what someone goes through other than what I was told. Now I was intrigued to hear more about her story so before I even had the chance C was already getting her information. Months would go by as life happens and I reached out to her back in December but we finally got in touch as she is an ambitious young lady so she is always on the go. I wanted to capture her story on video so that I could share it with my friends and tribe. We had to do this in 2 takes because the first time I forgot to turn on the microphone. Please watch and share this video.
The people here in the states we see stuff like this on TV or in books, but rarely do we see cleft lip in the US because the surgery is performed when they are young just like in Amanda’s case. What I really had no clue about though was the amount of care and follow up surgeries that would go into it. Hearing Amanda tell her story was very emotional but at the same time it was wonderful to see how much she was smiling through the whole interview. It was very moving to hear her talk about her struggles growing up with things that most of us don’t even think of as we are going through high school. I had my challenges going through high school since I wasn’t popular by any means and thought I was too fat, I didn’t have the best most popular clothes, but she was able to overcome bigger hurdles and that we take for granted like our smile. I hope you’re as moved as I was by her story.