Hi! My name is Sarah and I am about to have my eigth and final cleft surgery, as an adult.
I was born at Edward Hospital and my family moved around when I was young, finally moving back to the same suburbs despite the fact that my dad had lost his job.
I worked with a doctor named Laura Semba when I was young and now go to UIC for care. Everything with my cleft was on hold in high school but I had help getting things started again in college, going to appointments for braces an hour away in Orland Park and for surgery in Chicago. These appointments were a lot to fit in while working and in college but I made it happen, with some help with things like buying a car. My parents didn't help me with a lot of these things. But people in my church did.
If you are someone who is struggling to get care, UIC Craniofacial Center is an incredibly great place and I am so thankful for the help. I really wanted my surgeries done so my orthodontist really liked me because I really tried hard to keep my teeth clean, and he said that I do pretty well in comparison to most cleft patients, which made me think, and makes me kind of sad. I know it can be hard to stay motivated but it is so worth it to have a good confident smile, and community that supports you.