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The Lips To Smile

When a baby is unable to smile properly it's usually because the palate or lip hasn't formed properly during pregnancy. More important than the baby's inability to smile is the inability to feed properly, and later, not being able to speak properly.

Sadly, we've seen our fair share of cleft palates and lips in Qinghai because this birth defect is found mostly in remote or impoverished areas of the province. Many of these cases have gone untreated. Children who are born with this birth defect often face serious psychological and social issues as they grow older.

In 2015, the Cornerstone Association in Hong Kong visited the Qinghai Charity Hospital twice, inquiring about their needs and possible future partnerships. CA, Cornerstone and the Hospital then launched a charity campaign called ‘Joyful Smile'. Thirty five cases were soon registered to receive screening, testing, medical treatment and remedial surgeries.

The first delegation from Cornerstone landed in Xining on March 25th, and in just four days, 30 children were treated and remedial surgeries were offered to eight of them, ranging from three months old to age 10. Dr. Chow and his team from Hong Kong worked tirelessly, only stopping for a light snack in between surgeries! At the end of an entire day of successful surgeries, the team visited each child, ensuring their recovery was going smoothly.

The end result was that it wasn't only the children who were able to smile properly. As you can see from the pictures, whole families were smiling!

We're so grateful for such kind-hearted workers, and this is just the beginning! The Cornerstone Association plans to return again in May and in June to continue the great work. They are currently looking for medical professionals to join their team!

There will be a sharing and recruitment day on May 15th, so if you're interested, or know someone who might be, check this link for more information about being a part of this joyful gift to the people of Qinghai.

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