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.