Eduardo’s mother felt a sense of loss when she first saw his cleft. But she loved him no less for it, and as she held and cared for him, the shock faded, and she made an oath to them both: “This is my son, and I will show him off to the world.”
She spent his childhood scouring Mexico City for the best possible cleft treatment she could afford. After much scrimping and sacrificing, she put together enough to pay for the surgeries he needed.
Even as he grew up picked on for how he looked and spoke, her efforts were never lost on him. In high school, Eduardo made an oath of his own: “I was no longer going to be the shy guy who was afraid of public speaking.”
Inspired by his mother’s tenacity and unconditional love, he took charge of his life. Today, he has a degree in neurolinguistics and provides speech therapy to children with clefts at Centro SUMA, a Smile Train Cleft Leadership Center in his hometown.
“After many years, a long journey, and the support of a lot of medical professionals, I was able to find my own voice. Now it is my turn to help other children through this process,” Eduardo reflected.
To him, this is a sacred task. By helping children find their physical voices, he hopes to help them also find their inner voices, to free them to exercise their rights to self-expression with confidence and dignity.
Just like his mother taught him.
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