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Stories You Make Possible

Stories You Make Possible

Explore Operation Smile stories from around the world highlighting the courage of patients and their families, the dedication of our volunteers and staff, and the generosity of supporters like you.

During a 2018 surgical program in Bolivia, volunteer cleft surgeon Dr. Carlos Dorado wears an orange Operation Smile T-shirt as he screens 14-month-old Damian. Damian wears a blue take top while he sits on his mom's lap.

His Path of Hope: Q&A with Surgeon Dr. Carlos Dorado

In this Q&A with Dr. Carlos Dorado, we discovered which patient stories have impacted him most throughout his time with Operation Smile as well as why he believes people must actively work at creating more moments of kindness for the families he meets on our surgical programs.
Photo: Margherita Mirabella.

A Grandmother’s Everlasting Love

Claudina knew that her 16-year-old daughter, Wara, had a high-risk pregnancy. But she never imagined the series of events that would ultimately unfold.
Wearing a yellow and blue long-sleeved flannel shirt, Dilan stands outside his red front door of his home and shows off his new smile two years after receiving cleft lip surgery.

See This Mom Conquer Her Fears As She Seeks Help for Her Son

Sandy once feared the possibility of her son receiving surgery. But after connecting with Operation Smile, her perception changed. “I felt confident, welcomed by all. I trust you. I know he’s in excellent hands.”
Thirteen-year-old Laura from Colombia stands in front of a green wall holding both of her "before" images.

Laura’s Lifelong Journey of Care

By the age of 12, Laura had undergone more surgeries than some adults have in their entire lives. But throughout her cleft care journey, she found comfort and confidence during her visits to Operation Smile Colombia’s care center. 
A family walks from home down a long dirt road surrounded by green trees and shrubs on either side of the road. They are walking to their nearest hospital where they can find care and information about Operation Smile.

Health for All: Transcending Borders

Our Transcending Borders signature initiative strives to create more resilient and inclusive health systems that serve the needs of patients with cleft conditions regardless of their immigration statuses.
Posed for a group picture, Operation Smile Madagascar patient advocate Fidelis is at the center while some of the 42 patients he found and brought to Operation Smile's patient village during a 2018 program.

The Impact of One, Changes the Lives of Many

After an encounter with an Operation Smile Madagascar patient advocate, the paths of two patients unknowingly crossed as they both journeyed toward brighter futures.
During a 2016 surgical program in Puebla, Mexico, 6-month-old Sabine wears a pink hoodie and a bright pink beanie on the second day of screening.

Holding Her Happier Future

The love Sabine’s mother had for her wasn’t diminished by the reality of having a child with a cleft lip. If anything, her love intensified when she set out to find a solution.

One Among Thousands

Dr. Ghulam Qadir Fayyaz has performed thousands of cleft surgeries, but the story of one Operation Smile patient revealed a definitive moment in his career.
United States
The book cover of Kimberly Griffin's children's book My Beautiful Lips

Coming to Life on the Page: Q&A with Kimberly and Warren Griffin

In her children’s book, “My Beautiful Lips,” Kimberly Griffin tells the story through the eyes of Abana, a 12-year-old girl who was born with a cleft lip. Although she is a fictional character, Abana faces real challenges that many of our patients encounter when living with an untreated cleft condition.

Make Your Gift


Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft condition. Your gift today will help transform lives and increase access to essential surgical care.