Every year in the U.S. brings thousands of babies born with a cleft, which happens when tissue in the upper lip or roof of mouth does not completely join during pregnancy. (Source: acpa-cpf.org) Since there are many people who live with this facial difference, concerned organizations have proclaimed July as National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month. But it should not just stop in July. Advocates of the cause are gathering together to produce knowledge in the form of content, hosting events and fundraisers to spread awareness all year around, with the highlight being in July.
Why it Matters
Cleft and craniofacial conditions happen in other countries as well as the U.S., with Cleft lip being one of the most common birth defects here, affecting approximately 7,000 babies annually. (Source: acpa-cpf.org) This is why advocates have joined together to spread awareness. “[We are] excited to join this nationwide effort to raise awareness- “says Robert J. Havlik, M.D. and American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association president. (ACPA-CPF) (Source: acpa-cpf.org) 2018 is actually the organization’s 75th anniversary, 75 years that the organization has worked to advance research and treatment of this facial difference and promote patient’s needs. (Source: acpa-cpf.org)
What People are Doing
Organizations like the ACPA are working to produce content that can be provided to anyone interested in learning more or spreading the word. They have made logos and icons representing the condition accessible so that advocates can easily download and share on social media to further spread the word. Furthermore ACPA hosts informational webinars that can be accessed by cleft and craniofacial care providers worldwide, enabling them to be well-informed and ready to teach or treat others.
There are also events that help raise awareness and funds on the condition. One big event is the Annual Meeting, hosted by ACPA. Here attendees will learn about advances in research, clinical and team-driven care, and discuss new and old ideas with those experienced. Everyone is welcome to join in on this event!
Another way that advocates can show support is to donate money to the cause. The ACPA has created a portal for donations and encourages people everywhere to help support ACPA’s vision to “create a world, through team care, where individuals with cleft and craniofacial conditions thrive.” This is not the only way that the ACPA provides for advocates to donate. Interested individuals can also:
- Donate time by joining their grassroots efforts to spreading awareness
- Shop on AmazonSmile and allocate certain portions of eligible purchases to the cause
- Donate a vehicle (Tax-deductible)
- Set up their own fundraiser
There are several ways to aid the cause for Cleft Palate and Craniofacial awareness. Organizations like the ACPA have made volunteering easy and given multiple options for interested individuals to choose from. People can donate time or money in the form of setting up or attending fundraisers, informational events, money donations, shopping online, or simply just spreading the word. Get out there and help spread awareness for Cleft Palate and Craniofacial conditions and help those living with the facial difference live in a world of more informed and understanding peers!