Gracee was born with a cleft lip and palate in the Philippines and she was incessantly bullied growing up. “When I was a child, I was upset when other children used to bully me – my friends and mother would tell me to ignore what they were saying, but I would usually just isolate myself or cry,” she said.
The bullying finally stopped when Gracee received a Smile Train sponsored cleft surgery.
Today, Gracee is a confident and happy woman, dedicated to serving others as a perioperative nurse at a local Smile Train partner hospital. Gracee is proud to have a career helping the children who have the same problem she once had.
When asked what advice she has for children living with untreated clefts, she responds: “As hard as it may be, don’t listen to those who bully you – if you were born with a cleft, you can still do something good with your life.”
Gracee also has a message for Smile Train donors: “Thank you so much for your support. Many children have benefited from your support and now have a new smile. It’s hard to live with an untreated cleft and it’s not easy to live a normal life without having had this surgery.”