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Save a Smile: Cleft Awareness Month

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For Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month in July  I am Running a 5k EVERYDAY to Raise Funds for babies around the world who Need to Cleft Surgery!

Why This is Personal to Me:

I was born with a Cleft-my palate and lip was split open at birth and when I was 2 months I needed 3 surgeries to repair my Smile.

My mother had just arrived to this country from the Dominican Republic and my dad came to the States when I was 3 years old. She divorced shortly after.

Not knowing any English my Mom or Dad did not know how to explain to me what was Cleft and my mother did the best she could feeding me with a special bottle.

In addition, we grew up on social government programs like Section 8, Food Stamps, and Government pay assistance.

I still remember kids calling me Crooked Nose, Crooked Lip, and Banana Split...

By Age 14, I underwent bone graft surgery. This procedure involved removing a piece of my hip bone out and inserting into my palate. 

Fatty tissues where taken from my hip and insert into my lip to even out my Smile....But for 28 years I never knew why.

Why was I born this way?

July 31 2019 I quit my 6 -figure Job and set out on a journey to a Speaker and along the journey find out more about myself and my birth defect.

First thing I did was I  researched my Doctor who performed the surgeries on me...

I met this doctor when I was baby and at age 14 for an hour before undergoing surgery and never saw him again. After letting go of my 6-figure corporate job and going after my goals in life- I had a yearning desire to find out if my doctor was still a practicing surgeon to ask him all my questions about Cleft.

To my surprise, Dr. Patrick Sullivan is still a surgeon in Providence, RI and a Professor at Brown University.
I was so grateful to meet him because the Pictures above I have never seen them in my life!!! Neither of parents had them and only after searching for myself did I receive them!

After 28 Years I finally found Got Answers To Why I was Born with a Cleft!

Here are the facts:

✔1 out 700 Babies in the US are born with a Cleft

✔There is No Cure for being born with a Cleft; Only a Repair that is life long process

✔Many Children around the world cannot afford the Surgery and are left With No Help

My Mission is to Raise $1,000,000 to Craniofacial and Cleft Children around the World so we can provide Children the Care They Need.

Organizations like Children's Craniofacial Association (CCA), ACPA, Smile Train, Smile Face, Global Smile and many others fight to help children have the surgery they need.

I want to be leading voice in helping these organization reach the greater mass and with your help we can achieve this goal.

My goal is empower children with Craniofacial differences to accomplish anything they want in life and can make dreams come true!

I am living proof this can be done!


  • Felix J Garcia
    • $25 
    • 4 yrs
  • Cassandra Richter
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs
  • Fiona A
    • $20 
    • 4 yrs
  • Gloria Rosal
    • $30 
    • 4 yrs
  • Carolina Restaurant
    • $40 
    • 4 yrs


Manny Ventura
Providence, RI

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