Dr. Avi Weisfogel wants you to know about young people like Marceline. Marceline is a young, bright school girl from Rwanda who hides inside of her house in isolation. She does this because whenever she ventures into public, she is ridiculed, harassed and even spit on. She is made to feel less than human because of a simple birth defect that can happen to anyone in the world — she has a cleft lip.
There is no known reason for cleft lip and cleft palate. Somewhere between the sixth and ninth week of pregnancy the roof of the mouth forms. Two halves come together to form a whole. But in people with cleft lip and cleft palate, that union doesn’t happen as planned. It stops short. It leaves the baby with a gap in their lip, and in some cases, a corresponding rift on the roof of their mouth. The exposed teeth can be uncomfortable for some to look at, so they make fun of the person. And that person recedes into isolation.
To make matters worse for young Marceline, she has trouble pronouncing words. The gap in her upper lip makes it near impossible to make certain sounds. She doesn’t even raise her hand in school if she knows the answer because she does not want to speak in public.
Her affliction has caused others to spit on her, saying, “Don’t come around here. You are making us sick to our stomachs.” They go so far as to hit her. It’s also been tough on her family, who didn’t know how to care for the girl when she was a baby. The cleft in her lip made it difficult for her to suck a nipple or drink water. They feared that she would die of malnutrition or thirst. It’s been hard on everyone.https://angel.co/aviweisfogel
Avi Weisfogel knows just how devastating a condition a cleft lip or palate can be. He’s a successful dentist from New Jersey, owns his own practice and sees dental conditions all the time. Fortunately for the people of New Jersey, he can help them. But young people like Marceline can’t get the kind of surgery that could improve her life.
That’s why Avi Weisfogel’s latest GoFundMe campaign is so crucial. All proceeds go to a charity called Operation Smile. The charity donates life changing surgery to those in need and to those who may not be able to afford it. Avi Weisfogel’s campaign aims to raise awareness and funds for the much-needed surgery.