Just a little update – for a variety of reasons, Mags and I are changing the closing date of this giveaway until AUGUST 18th at noon. Thank you so much for all the support that you have given so far over the last few weeks, it means a lot to us.
Last week Mags and I were able to get an extra signed copy of Grey by E L James. As we often do when we host a giveaway we debate a dozen different ideas on how to do the giveaway. But with my birthday so close, I had an idea close to my heart that Mags was totally on board with.
39 years ago today I was a very lucky little baby. I was born with a cleft lip and palate, but I was born in a part of the world where treatment was readily available. We’ll ignore the part where the doctors didn’t quite know what to do with me and shipped me to another hospital. My Dad was a mechanic at the time and had a plastic surgeon client, he was a leading doctor in maxillofacial surgery and worked with the cleft patients on Long Island, Dr. Bertram Bromberg. My memories of him are a little fuzzy, but from my parents I know that he said mine was the biggest cleft he had ever seen. But he fought for me and I can say without shame that I have one of the best repairs I’ve ever seen. To date, I’ve had 23 surgeries to repair the clefts and improve my quality of life, if I have my count right. I read Fifty Shades of Grey weeks after finishing a series of 5 surgeries in my 30s.
I’m sometimes asked what I think the lasting impact on me was and I can easily say that it made me a stronger person. I was surrounded by fighters and today I can easily say that not much scares me. But I’ve also learned that many have had the complete opposite result, shame and embarrassment. With clefts often comes poor speech, eating problems and facial deformities, I get it because I’ve lived it. A few years ago I had the first of what was supposed to be 2 surgeries, but ended up being 5, to improve my jaw and dental alignment and for several months had poor speech. Try ordering take out food, or briefing executives at your job with a speech issue. Never mind meeting new people, ugh, it was terrible. Thankfully, I was surrounded by amazing people like Mags, it was made a difficult time easier. But, I can see how it would be easier for people to hide away from the world instead of face it.
I said before, I was fortunate, even today, 39 years later, children around the world are born with cleft lips and palates with no means for repair. Where a funny look by a passerby, or having trouble ordering take out is the least of their problems. They often have issues eating, speaking and are shamed from being in the public and are hidden away in the family home. Of course that assumes they aren’t abandoned to die or simply killed.
So for my birthday I ask for a small gift in exchange for a chance to win a signed copy of Grey. Make a donation to Smile Train, any donation. Each person who makes any donation will be entered in a random drawing for the signed copy of Grey. And you’ll have the satisfaction that you’ll have contributed to improving the life of another person.
How to enter:
Make a donation to Smile Train through my Laters Baby Team Page
Giveaway starts on June 23, 2015 and runs through July 28, 2015
Rules and Stuff:
Must be 17 or older to win a signed copy of Grey, donations are welcome from everyone.
Anonymous donations are appreciate, but I can’t track you down if you’re a winner. If you prefer to keep your donation private, you can send a screenshot of the donation confirmation to us.
I’ll be using the email you provide when you make the donation as the primary contact information. If that is not the best way to contact you, either leave better information (example – twitter handle) in the Gift Message section or contact me with a screenshot of your donation.
Contest is open worldwide.
Thank you so much for your support of me over the last few years and for children around the world.