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Going the Extra Miles for Smiles

Have you ever thought of going the extra mile? Sure lots of us have already planned or done so, be it in studies, job functions in the office, returning or doing a favor for a friend, or by reaching out to some friends or relatives in need. But would you also do it for somebody whom you're not related to or not even close to you?

On September 18, just a day after the PAU-T2N, NCFPI will be holding their 2011 Miles for Smiles for kids with craniofacial conditions. Read more about this event from the following press release below. Registration details can be found here and here.

Photos from L to R: (1) Pre-surgical orthodontic treatment called NAM (2) Genetic Counseling
(3) Cleft surgery (4) Speech Therapy
It was just another manic Monday as parents and their children with varying cleft conditions milled in the Emergency Clinic annexed to Our Lady of Peace Hospital in Paranaque. In a corner sat a man who stood out not just because of his snow-white hair and large built, but also for the immense calm he radiated amidst the chaos… he is the one who started it after all.

Shortly after graduating with a medical degree from the University of Iowa, Dr. M. Samuel Noordhoff and his wife, Lucy, made the long journey across the ocean to Taiwan in 1959 as medical missionaries. The very next day Dr. Sam started learning to speak Taiwanese. The following year he became the superintendent of Mackay Memorial Hospital where he stayed for the next 16 years. In 1976, he became the first superintendent of the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital where he founded the polio rehabilitation center, cleft lip and palate treatment center, burn treatment center, suicide prevention center, lifeline and maxillofacial center. Upon retirement in 1989, Dr. Sam used USD 100,000 of his own money to form the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation (NCF) and has since then expanded operations from Taiwan to Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Philippines and Mongolia.

Clefting is a congenital deformity caused by abnormal facial development during early fetal development. It commonly manifests on the lips and palate but can also affect other parts of the face, such as the eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, and forehead. The exact cause for clefting has yet to be determined but it is recognized that hereditary and environmental factors (nutritional imbalance, exposure to x-ray etc.) contribute to the condition.

NCF Philippines, Inc. (NCFPI) sets itself apart from the numerous “stitch-and-go” missions by providing “comprehensive cleft care” from pre-surgery preparation through post surgery speech therapy conducted by respected professionals. Clinics and surgeries are held on weekly schedules in equipped medical facilities. For treatment of patients, the Foundation’s main collaborators are the Smile Train, World Craniofacial Foundation, and HELP-Wir helfen in 2009 and (TECO). It has started to get support from private companies and other foundations like Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Foundation and PAL Foundation in order to extend reach of its treatment to many patients in need.

In 2010, NCFPI launched “Miles for Smiles: Run for Cleft Care” in Bonifacio Global City to raise public awareness that cleft is treatable and world-class comprehensive care is available. The event drew more participants than expected for the 400M Dash for Kids (ages 7 and below), 3k, 5k, 10k, 16k and “10 for a Smile” group categories that the Foundation decided to continue the campaign this year.
Miles for Smiles 2011 Memorabilia

“Miles for Smiles: Run for Cleft Care 2011” happens on September 18- Sunday, at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For more information, please visit or contact the Event Secretariat through 519-7010 or 519-8980.

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