Christian Taylor Buchanan

Christian Taylor Buchanan

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Christian's bio in short - had to write this for something else and wanted to post it here!


Christian is a happy little boy who loves life. His favorite things are his Mama, his Nana, swimming, and music. He loves playing musical instruments, especially piano, guitar and drums, although as of yet he is still learning melody! :)

Christian was born with a birth defect called Tessier cleft lip and palate. This birth defect has only about 50 documented cases in the world. Christian's classification of Tessier cleft caused his eyes to cleft as well as his mouth, which means that he is blind.

Christian has had 3 surgeries so far and faces dozens more to repair his cleft. He has defeated all the odds and defied what doctors have said over and over. We were told that Christian wouldn't live once he was born. Not only did he live, he is a thriving and healthy little boy. We were told that Christian would be mentally impaired as well. Christian has proven to be smarter than many kids his age who have sight. Christian has never let his disability define who he is, or allow it to hold him back!

Our journey has not been an easy one, but it's definitely been worth every minute and every step we've taken. It's been hard dealing with people's reactions to Christian's appearance. We've had people stare or make rude comments to us about the way he looks many, many times. But recently, I posted a video to YouTube about our journey and how amazing Christian is, and the response has been amazing! Around 11 million people have watched the video and Christian's life has changed lives all over the world. Thousands of people have contacted me to let me know how Christian has touched them and helped them in some way.

I know that Christian is fearfully and wonderfully made, and that God's plans for him are so good! I am so proud of Christian for everything he has accomplished in his short life, and I can't wait to see all God has in store for him!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles

As you may have seen in a recent post, I have been asked to be on the Board of Directors for the Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles. I am so honored to accept this position and I can't wait to get the ball rolling and dive in! I thought it might be appropriate to let everyone know a little more about the Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles. I thought it might also be a great way to reach out to all my cleft and craniofacial families that I have met in the past month!!!!

The Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles began in 2009, and their mission is "to educate and bring awareness to others around the world whose lives are being touched by cleft lip and/ or palate and other Craniofacial anomalies by providing Support, Education, Advocacy, and Research."

My title on the board will be National Newsletter Coordinator. I have been brain storming lately on a way to keep all my cleft and craniofacial families connected and reach out to them. So as the creator of the Foundation and I were chatting one day, I happen to mention the idea I had of starting some sort of news letter. I, however, lacked the platform to be able to take on such a huge responsibility. Rachel then called me a few days later and pitched the idea of giving me the platform to coordinate the newsletter! My responsibilities will include gathering and approving the information that goes into the newsletter and the layout and design. I am so thrilled and honored to be asked to undertake such a huge and fulfilling responsibility.

Through the Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles, families can learn a lot of information about clefts, find local support groups, apply for assistance in purchasing special feeders, read smile stories of children with craniofacial differences, learn about IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act) and IEP's (Individualized Education Plans) for children who will need special education in the school system, and sign your child up to receive cards from foundation members during hospital stays, to name a few things.

The Foundation is an ever growing and adapting foundation that is always finding new ways to reach out to its families to provide support, education, advocacy, and research. It is also a VAST resource. The Foundation provides tons of useful information to its members as well. It is a must-have resource for all craniofacial and cleft families!

I encourage all of my craniofacial and cleft families to join this foundation and begin reaping the benefits of this amazing organization!

You can find the Foundation's website at www.cleftsmile.org.
You can also join their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/rachel.mancuso1

Please also visit the Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles donation page. The Foundation is about to begin a campaign fundraisier to raise $25,000 to help it's member families in need!!!!
http://www.cleftsmile.org/about-us/make-a-donation/