TAMPA, Fla. – Pat Ricalde, DDS, MD, FACS of the Florida Craniofacial Institute provides specialized, expert care for infants and children born with abnormalities of the face and head, such as cleft lip and palate. July marks National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month and the kick start of the Florida Craniofacial Institute’s campaign to spread understanding and raise funds to help local families affected by a craniofacial anomaly.
In honor of these Bay Area families, the Florida Craniofacial Institute wants to create a supportive, community environment, and is also collecting donations and selling fun items to contribute all proceeds to the St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Cleft and Craniofacial team patients.
All money raised will go directly toward supporting these families with needed items such as specialized bottles, or basic assistance during treatment like gas and groceries. No proceeds will be used for health care costs.
A cleft lip and palate occurs when the tissue that forms the roof of the mouth and upper lip fail to join while a fetus is developing. The Cleft Palate Foundation reports that about 1 in 700 babies in the United States are born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. The cleft, or split, can range from a small notch on the upper lip to a large gap that runs through the palate and into the nose. This not only alters the child’s appearance, it also affects normal functions such as feeding, speech and hearing, and can include social and psychological challenges later in life.
For more information on how to help the Florida Craniofacial Institute raise donations for the St. Joseph's Children's Hospital patients, contact them at (813) 870-6000, or visit www.floridacranio.com.