High School Student Raising Funds for a New Medical Mission to Bring Smiles To Ecuadorian Children Born with Cleft Lip and Palate

Friday, April 5, 2019 Lifestyle News
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15-Year-Old Kylie Azizzadeh Hopes to Raise Money to Help Fund a New Medical Mission Trip for Global Smile Foundation

LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- 140 million people in Latin America

do not have access to adequate health care. In an effort to improve the lives of those born with facial deformities, fifteen-year-old Kylie Azizzadeh has taken matters into her own hands. Kylie has started a campaign to raise money to fund a new medical mission trip to Ecuador by Global Smile Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Doctors and other volunteers affiliated with Global Smile Foundation have provided treatments for patients born with cleft lip and other facial deformities in underserved areas of the world for over thirty years. The foundation pairs volunteer doctors and nurses with communities in need and has helped implement pro bono comprehensive care in over twenty countries in South America, Africa, and the Middle East.

"The lack of medical care in developing countries makes it extremely difficult for children to gain access to the numerous surgeries and treatments needed to address life-changing deformities such as cleft lip and palate," says Kylie Azizzadeh. "In some parts of the world, a cleft lip means being possessed by the devil, which causes bullying, social harassment, and isolation. In a place where medical care is too expensive or hard to find, Global Smile Foundation is able to give back to people who need it the most."

Not only does Global Smile Foundation provide surgical care, but they also educate local surgeons as well as offer dental treatments, speech rehabilitation, psychological assistance, and post-care necessities to patients. Dr. Usama Hamdan, the President and Founder of the Global Smile Foundation says that "the goal of our organization is to deliver care that is very similar to what a young child with craniofacial deformity would receive in the United States."

After getting involved with the organization as a Junior Ambassador in 2018, Kylie realized that many more mission trips are necessary to address the severe lack of health care access in developing countries around the world. Through this realization, she spearheaded adding an additional trip to Ecuador for the summer of 2019.

Kylie volunteered to help raise the necessary funds for this mission ($100,000) through GoFundMe targeted social media outreach, corporate grants, and financial support from family and friends. In fact, this cause has resonated so much with people who are learning about it, that Kylie raised approximately $17,000 in the first two weeks of her fundraising campaign.

"I'm raising money so that the organization can add more mission trips to the places where healthcare is needed the most, in order to improve continuity of care and expedite timing of treatments," further explains Kylie. "These children need our help now more than ever, and I will do whatever it takes to make this trip happen!"

About Kylie Azizzadeh: Kylie is a tenth-grade student in Southern California who is deeply passionate about using technology and social entrepreneurship to improve the lives and health care of impoverished people around the world. In addition to her role with Global Smile Foundation, Kylie has also worked with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center organizing blood drives and has helped organize a toy drive for Children's Burn Foundation.

About Global Smile Foundation Global Smile Foundation (GSF) is dedicated to making first-class cleft care accessible to all patients regardless of geographic or socioeconomic barriers. There is a pressing need for sustainable cleft care in developing countries where the consequences of those conditions are devastating, if left untreated. GSF founders and volunteers have been committed to developing and implementing comprehensive outreach cleft care programs with a focus on quality care coupled with empowerment and sustainability initiatives for local healthcare providers. This has resulted in our patient population having the confidence and tools to be productive members of their societies.

For more information on Global Smile Foundation and Kylie's fundraising campaign, please contact Jessica LaBarbera jessica(at)facialplasticsbh.com


SOURCE Global Smile Foundation

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