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Meet Joseph

Meet Joseph!

158 medical appointments. 4 major surgeries. 326 sessions of speech therapy. 4 sets of ear tubes.

From special baby bottles for feedings to countless hours waiting and navigating health decisions, children like Joseph and their families endure a lot. Fast forward to today, Joseph is 10 years old and barely to the halfway point of his coordinated treatment plan to fully repair his cleft lip and palate. Kids like Joseph have long journeys ahead of them.


Joseph was born with unilateral complete cleft lip and palate.

They are counting on caring people like you to help them receive the care they need to restore their brightest smile!

The ultrasound showed he had cleft lip and palate when he was still in his mother’s womb at her four month check-up. This was not the appointment she had imagined! She knew her unborn son would have a long road ahead of him. For the remainder of her pregnancy, she wondered what the future might hold for her precious baby.

As a medical provider, I’ve seen firsthand the miraculous restoration of hundreds of kids affected by cleft and craniofacial conditions. It’s familiar to me, but for a new parent this kind of diagnosis is overwhelming and heartbreaking.


Joseph wore a nasoalveolar molding appliance every day, including during feeding, for a total of four months in order to narrow the width of his cleft in preparation for surgery.

I still remember Joseph as an infant when we started 4 months of weekly visits to mold his jaw and nose into a better position, so his first surgery to repair the lip could be as successful as possible. Then he had his second surgery at 12 months of age to close the palate. This was really just the beginning.

Joseph has ten more years of treatment. He just got his first set of braces off this month after having a bone graft surgery to repair his gum line and may endure further surgery and orthodontics before his high school graduation. Today he is playing soccer and enjoying 4th grade with a strong group of friends, as any 10-year old child should!

People like you can make this possible for Joseph!

It seems natural that every child born with cleft or a craniofacial condition should receive the coordinated care they need to fully restore their ability to eat, speak and smile like their peers. Sadly, the healthcare system doesn’t guarantee this for every child, but you can!

Smile Oregon is committed to providing the financial resources to kids who otherwise would not have necessary and timely coordinated treatments to fully restore their smiles. Just like Joseph, each year 100 babies are born with a cleft or craniofacial condition right here in Oregon. You can contribute to the coordinated care of local children, ensuring their brightest smile with your $40 gift!

Smiles are contagious and powerful and I’m convinced that a smile is the gift that keeps giving! Wouldn’t the gift of a smile be the most priceless gift to give this season? I’m so thankful for people like you who stand in support of kids like Joseph. You give them reason to keep smiling!

Celebrating Smiles,

P.S. Maximize your impact by multiplying your gift! Joseph thanks you for that!


Joseph’s smile… now that’s contagious!



Dr. Judah Garfinkle
Smile Oregon Co-Founder and Board President