LWB Community Blog

2018 Cleft Medical Exchange: Day Four

Day Four of our 2018 Cleft Medical Exchange is now a wrap, and today nine more children received surgery today.  The team is feeling very tired, but everyone is determined to see the rest of the children healed who qualified for surgery.

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Focus on Tibet: Our October eBay Auction

Over the years we have done some work in the Tibetan Plateau in the Qinghai province of China.

In addition to working with individual families in need there, we have helped purchase wool for winter coats, thick woolen blankets and mattresses, and traditional Tibetan robes to protect against the harsh winter temperatures and windy conditions. Read more.

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Celebrating the Dads Who Touch Our Hearts

On Father’s Day in the US, many of us reflect on childhood memories with our father. Some of us are fortunate enough to spend Father’s Day surrounded by our family, making memories we hope will last for years to come. Fatherhood is definitely a privilege worthy of celebration.

Ayres family

As a Board Member of LWB, I have been blessed to witness a number of men show me what it truly means to be a father. Read more

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The 2016 Cleft Medical Exchange: Final Moments

Saturday morning our team headed to the hospital to make our final rounds on the children and to say goodbye to the wonderful Chinese team we had worked with all week.  Real friendships are formed in both the OR and on the ward, and it was hard to say those final farewells, not knowing when, if ever, we would meet in person again.

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News from The Tibetan Plateau

Samuel was born with a cleft lip and palate in a remote part of the Tibetan Plateau. Last April, he and his father and uncle made the long journey from their home to Henan province so that Samuel could have cleft repair surgery during our 2015 Cleft Medical Exchange.


Recently one of our volunteers visited Samuel at home, and we are happy to report that Samuel is doing very well! Read more.

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Farewell to Laurel and Her Dad

Saying goodbye is often sad, but when we’re able to say goodbye knowing that a child we’ve come to care for is now able to function in life without crippling and constant pain, it’s a bittersweet farewell.

Laurel teddy bear 12.15

Laurel came to our Loving ARMs Healing Home as a recipient of help through our Unity Initiative. She lives with her family in a remote part of the Tibetan Plateau, and she and her father literally had to climb a mountain to get medical care (read more in, “Climbing Mountains For Laurel“). Read more.

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Laurel and Her Dad

Last month, we shared the story of Laurel, a very ill seven-year-old girl who lives with her parents on the Tibetan Plateau.

Laurel 9.22.15

A first surgery to correct Laurel’s congenital birth defect left her in a great deal of chronic pain. Given the opportunity to get help for their daughter through our Unity Initiative, her family literally climbed over a mountain to give her the opportunity for a second surgery (see the blog, “Climbing Mountains for Laurel“). Read more.

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Climbing Mountains for Laurel

Two days after her birth, Laurel’s parents knew that their tiny daughter needed immediate medical care. They brought her from their remote home on the Tibetan Plateau to Bomi County to see a doctor who told her parents that she had a congenital birth defect which required immediate surgery. Unfortunately, the local hospital was unable to do anything to help her. Her parents took her to two additional hospitals in a desperate attempt to help their newborn daughter. Because she was so young, the local doctors were afraid to attempt surgery and so they sent her family home to survive as best they could.

Laurel parents 8.15
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Yak Delivery on the Tibetan Plateau

Back in April of this year, we learned about a little boy named Samuel from the Tibetan Plateau who needed cleft lip and palate repair surgery.

TibetanfamilySamuel (center) with his family

Samuel traveled with his uncle and his father from their remote home to our Cleft Medical Exchange in Kaifeng, Henan. Read more.

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Day Seven of the 2015 Cleft Medical Exchange

Today’s morning rounds were the final few hours for our US team in Kaifeng as they prepared to begin their journeys back home. They visited with every child still in the hospital and discussed each case with their Chinese colleagues to ensure a smooth transition of care. It is always so difficult to say goodbye to the dear friends we have made on these trips. What an international effort to make sure so many wonderful kids received the best surgical care possible.

CME2015TeamOne last photo together

Many of the kids were cleared to discharge today, while twelve others will stay a few more days to fully recover. Read more.

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