September 27, 2002

Collectively Many Lives Were Changed Forever

Thanks to the generosity of local volunteers the lives of thirteen children have been dramatically improved.

On September 14th and 15th Fresh Start held it’s seventh Surgery Weekend of the year. The weekend was a culmination of kindness, compassion, and newly discovered smiles. The amazing changes began to occur on September 13th at the free Dental Clinic held at La Boca Fina Dental Spa in Encinitas.

Dr. Beal, one of the volunteer dentists, has donated his precious skills to help underprivileged children for over 11 years. In his experience “often very simple procedures can make a significant impact on a patient’s physical and psychological health.” Dr. Beal is part of the Fresh Start alliance of doctors, assistants, and volunteers that are thrilled with the clinic’s results.

The children can now eat, speak, and most importantly, smile more easily. Dental conditions, such as a cleft lip or palate, often limit a child’s ability to speak clearly. The children that received medical care were not left to adjust to their new appearance on their own. Speech Therapists such as Sara Nelson and Emily Tucker generously donated their skills to help nine children develop proper speech techniques.

Recent patients of Fresh Start pose in front of a banner with the program sponsores, Metabolife and John Carney's Kick Start for Kids.

The Surgery Weekend brought together local volunteers and businesses to create amazing transformations in the lives of over 30 children. The local corporation Metabolife generously supported the weekend’s events as their cheerful volunteers manned a 35-foot kicking cage and introduced a colorful clown that kept everyone in high spirits. Fresh Start could not accomplish their mission without the collective support of their volunteers and charitable donors.

Without the community support children such as Rosa Martinez would be left to face a life of ridicule and awkward glances.

Rosa is a beautiful three-year-old girl from San Diego who hung her head in embarrassment and habit. She had a dark lump of tissue the size of a golf ball under her chin. Rosa’s parents could not afford the necessary medical care and desperately turned to Fresh Start for help. Dr. Edgar Ling and his volunteer team performed surgery and carefully removed Rosa’s growth. Rosa can now lift her head and face with confidence and happiness that most parents take for granted, and every child deserves. The Surgery Weekend was a testament to the beautiful works that can be accomplished when individuals give only a small part of themselves. Collectively, many lives were forever changed, and not only those of the young patients.

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is a non-profit organization that provides free reconstructive surgery to young victims of birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease.

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