AboutFace

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I could look at this face forever.

Tonight, Marshall, I caught a glimpse of your future.  Of course, I can’t actually see into the future, but I think I got a bit of an idea of what life might have in store for you.  I was invited by the amazing Canadian organization AboutFace to join their volunteer committee this year.  There was a gathering downtown tonight where I had the opportunity to meet members of the board of directors, other volunteers, and most importantly, many young men and women with facial differences.

I met fathers and mothers who have been where I am now, but many years ago.  I spoke to successful adults who were where you are now, Marshall, long ago.  My heart burst with pride to hear the beautiful singing and performances from two young women who stood before the crowd with confidence and poise beyond their years.

Where was this world before you were born, Marshall?  How did I live so many years, and teach for so long, without learning about craniofacial syndromes, facial differences, syndactyly, and Apert syndrome?  Like Lucy walking through the closet and into Narnia, it is not an exaggeration to say I had a magical experience tonight.  To hear about and see a group of people who have dedicated so much time, energy, and in some cases their lives, to helping empower and embrace young people with facial differences was a powerful and emotional experience.  It is truly an honour to be joining them, to learn from them, and to try to do what I can for children like you, Marshy.

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From L to R: Quinn (is offended by the idea of shirts), Bridget (cannot believe she lives with three boys), Marshall (doesn’t care about anything, just wants to be fed).
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One thought on “AboutFace

  1. Nice to meet last night at the AboutFace evening. It was indeed wonderful.
    As we discussed, I’ve shared a similar path with my daughter – although Crouzon’s and not Aperts – similar gene affect to the mid-face, similar skull surgeries. Megan’s now 12 and always wonderful … ok, past the usual growing up stuff and pursuing ‘boundaries’ 🙂 She’s past her mid-face advancement, eye surgeries, BAHA (hearing aid) surgeries, etc. and hoping we are now just into orthodontic work but you just never know…
    We should connect and your wife may want to chat with my wife.
    As I mentioned, none of this is in that wonderful ‘parenting handbook’ but I wouldn’t change what is our life for the world … both blessed and different – and many can just not always relate to it.
    With AboutFace, this is all real though when we reach out – the connections, the experiences, the growth, the friendships. (I dare say love but that may just freak some people out.)
    Having been a camp counsellor for a number of years – it’s all true too – the camp is amazing … not just for the kids but also as a dad and counsellor.
    The next step in my part of the journey is working with volunteering for AboutFace now and figuring out how, through the help needed, we can expand and leverage the AboutFace community and our connections for each other. It all remains amazing.
    I expect one day we’ll meet Marshall – perhaps he, or you, may want to meet Megan too.
    Here if you need us. … Dan

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