Updated: Feb 10, 2021
One of the many resources FACES provides for families is connection. In the early 2000s, information about birth defects and facial deformities was scarce and the internet was not the novelty that it is today. As I grew older and required fewer medical resources, FACES helped my family share our story with others and connected us to other families who were just starting their medical journey. We were able to ease the worries of young families with facially different children and reassure them that they were not alone. We were able to understand the obstacles these families were facing because we had just gone through them ourselves. When I was a young girl, I never saw anyone who looked like me or experienced similar obstacles but FACES connected me to teenagers and young adults who had the same condition, and they became my mentors and inspirations.
Because of these connections, my sister and I felt incredibly inspired to share our experiences publicly and we created Courageously Kind. Our new passion project started with a podcast, where each week we would discuss how we can heal the world with kindness and do so courageously. With this new platform, we decided to tackle subjects close to our hearts which included educating others about facial differences and the importance of Face Equality. We spread our message of kindness not only on our podcast but on social media accounts like Instagram and TikTok. I am a firm believer in introducing children to facial differences at a young age and we do this often on our TikTok account. One night I had the idea of filming a video directed towards children, introducing them to someone with a facial difference. Not thinking much of it, I posted the 60-second clip and went to bed. The next morning, my jaw dropped and my inbox flooded. The video had gained some attention and I started to receive dozens of videos from mothers and older siblings, showing their children the video I had posted. It warmed my heart that so many people wanted to educate their children and create an inclusive environment for them to grow up in. This world of inclusivity we move towards each day would not be attainable without organizations like FACES that paved the way for those with facial differences and ensured them that there is a place for them in society.
I can also say that Courageously Kind would not exist without FACES and was an inspiration to my sister and me to build a community in which inclusivity was a priority. As one half of Courageously Kind, I would love to invite you into our community! You can listen to our weekly discussions on Spotify or Apple Podcasts by searching “ Courageously Kind” or find us on Instagram or TikTok @courageouslykindpodcast.
Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/19Q1aLM60SYO0377P5gvq6?si=lc6hynJrSKqnT1QPWlhv1g&fbclid=IwAR1axWG-z32Lw3k4yvdVi0cirgR85w06YjLTlRbtjk3Rs4C-Di85sM9CQaw&nd=1