Hello I’m Ayden. I am nine and I was born with bilateral cleft lip and palate. My first surgery was in my mouth when I was only six months old. I have had about 5 surgeries so far. I will be having more surgeries up in to my twenties. I was also born with no upper jaw, or bone or cartilage in my nose. I have an upper jaw now because two years ago my team of doctors cut a piece of bone out of my hip and put it in my mouth. The next surgery I will have is in February 2015 and they are going to rebuild my nose so I have a tip and also make it skinnier. Right now, my nose is really flat. There are also two holes in the roof of my mouth. They were able to close one of the holes during my last surgery, but the other one has teeth growing in it. Another step is that I am going to be getting braces soon. My teeth are all over the place on the top, so the doctors said I will have to have them for a few years.
Today, I can tell you that all my surgeries have helped me now and will help me in the future. I will be having a lot more surgeries that I’m sure will also help me. My Mom takes me to all of my appointments and surgeries which makes me feel better. As a special treat, we always visit the gift shop in the hospital. I like gym and skateboarding. I love to be outside and being active. My favorite thing to do is go up north or visit my grandma’s house. All of the imperfect things I have doesn’t change the way that I do things. Some people stare because I look different, and that is ok. It does not bother me a whole lot, because they look different too! The surgeries I have had I only like the change I don’t like the pain. I wish there was a way I could look like the surgery was done but without the pain. The most painful surgeries was when I was a baby, I think those were the worst!
But I am very thankful for all of my doctors that work hard on making me look as normal as possible. Whatever that means.