AboutFace

Our Mission is to promote and enhance positive mental and emotional well being of individuals with facial differences and their families through peer and social support, resources, educational programs, and public awareness. Our Vision is to empower individuals with facial differences to find the confidence and courage to live life to the fullest. Our Organizational Values Include: Encourage Knowing you are not alone is the first step in embracing this journey. AboutFace offers support and encouragement through support groups, online and one-to-one peer networking opportunities, when people with facial differences and their families need it most. Empower Building on strength and characte...
Jan 6, 2015

Balancing School and Surgeries

Audrey
Audrey

Youth with a facial difference often require extensive dental and medical procedures.  Many of these take place during their adolescence which consequently means that youth have to spend time away from school and their peers to make various appointments and often require some recovery time after surgeries.  This can make it difficult for them to keep on top of their studies and with challenging curriculums it is easy for students to fall behind on their coursework.  It also makes it challenging to commit to extracurricular activities which is often expected for other scholarships. It also means time away from friends and peers which adds another element of challenge for our youth.  We want to support them in their academic endeavours while recognizing the challenges they might face. 

While some of the associated costs with having a facial difference are covered by healthcare there are significant financial obligations that are not covered.  This includes time off work (youth and parents) to attend various appointments, in face many of our youth are also unable to maintain their own job, due to surgeries and recovery times.  There are also the added costs of travel, accommodation, childcare for sibling…these extra financial burdens are rarely recognized and placed on the youth’s family to cover.  By providing some financial support for education youth have a better chance of being successful during their post secondary education.   

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Dec 9, 2014

Help kids like Taryn overcome obstacles!

Taryn
Taryn

You’ve never seen an obstacle course like this before!

          Are you ready for the obstacles? Road race. Archery. Scrabble. Leap frog. High ropes course. Playing catch with a greasy watermelon.

          One look at 13-year old Taryn as she prepares for the high ropes course portion of the obstacle course and you can feel her determination. Her eyes flash with confidence as she takes her first courageous step…

          Kids like Taryn who attend our Camp Trailblazers know a thing or two about obstacles. Girls and boys from 10 to 18 who live with facial differences come to our camp for a chance to connect with other kids like them, and to enjoy a camp experience in a safe, welcoming and positive space.

          Today, I’m inviting you to consider helping kids like Taryn overcome obstacles. Together with other AboutFace donors you’ll help us raise funds to send even more kids to camp next year!

          Now let me tell you how your gift will help kids overcome obstacles.

          Our Camp Trailblazers is a life-changing experience for kids with facial differences. We hear from kids all the time who tell us they feel lonely, isolated or bullied because they are different. Our camp is a place where kids can challenge themselves in a safe, supportive environment, and also gain confidence and build resilience.

           And our obstacle course is a perfect example of all the things kids learn at camp. Our road race represents rising to physical challenges, pushing your body and feeling the exhilaration of being cheered on while you achieve your personal best! Archery—and our high ropes course—build a sense of adventure and taking risks. Scrabble represents creativity and expressing yourself. Leap frog requires teamwork, and creates a sense of belonging. And as for playing catch with a greasy watermelon…first of all it’s harder than it sounds, but more importantly, we laugh and share in wonderful silliness!

          Take a moment and imagine Taryn, arms raised in victory as she steps off the high ropes course, feeling like she could conquer any other obstacle in her way!

          Please, hold on to that feeling and make your gift today. You can help us send 125 more kids to Camp Trailblazers in 2015, giving them the chance of a lifetime like Taryn!

Camp Trailblazers
Camp Trailblazers
Taryn Camp Trailblazers
Taryn Camp Trailblazers

Links:

Sep 24, 2014

Meet AboutFace Scholarship Winner Hayley!

Hayley
Hayley's high school graduation

"My involvement with AboutFace and SickKids Hospital have both played a huge part in the development of my character and my future career ambitions. I became a patient at SickKids Hospital soon after birth, as I was born with Bilateral Microtia and slight Goldenhar Syndrome. I've had multiple surgeries for my hearing aid (bone anchored hearing aid) and to have my jaw reconstructed (at SickKids Hospital). As I have spent so much time as this hospital, as well as so many of my close friends and family members, I have been inspired to devote as much of myself as I can to give back. I have just completed my first year on the SickKids Council, and got a volunteer position at the hospital for the full month of July. I am incredibly excited about volunteering at the hospital every morning in July as this will be my first experience in the career I hope to have when I am older. I hope that with my past experiences, I am able to find the right ways to help the children at the hospital and inspire them to push on and stay strong. Along with this, I will be working towards my goal career of being a child life specialist (dream job at SickKids Hospital), where I can hopefully inspire and help patients, as well as hopefully provide the same comfort, friendship and trust I received from my child life specialist.

While SickKids Hospital has helped me through my medical struggles, it has also helped me find others like myself, struggling with similar challenges, which has made my journey a lot easier. Along with SickKids introducing me to all these new friends, AboutFace has done this for me as well. I started attending AboutFace events a few years ago, and it has introduced me to so many beautiful friends whom I can related to and share common experiences with. AboutFace has taught me that it’s okay to be different, and that I no longer had to be ashamed because I have my AboutFace family with me. Seeing that there are so many people like myself (as well as those with other differences) has opened my eyes to the fact that not only am I not alone, but through my experiences, I can help others and impact their lives as much as they have for me. Through AboutFace, I have met such incredibly strong people who have inspired me to be strong and share my story with others which has also inspired me to further help others in the future going through struggles similar to my own."

Heyley
Heyley's cheque presentation
2014 Scholarship Winners: Hayley and Michelle
2014 Scholarship Winners: Hayley and Michelle

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