Giving Tuesday is a day to celebrate the gift of hope that FACES' has given to over 120 children and adults this past year. Twenty-one years ago, FACES gave this gift to the Adams family when their daughter Elizabeth was born with Goldenhar syndrome. FACES helped her parents in this unexpected journey of raising a child with a craniofacial syndrome by offering encouragement and financial support for travel so they could get Elizabeth 'Liz" to the many years of necessary surgeries she needed to address her medical issues.
Liz’s mother, Jackie Adams shares why she is thankful for FACES on #GivingTuesday.
"21 years ago, when our twins were born, we had no idea that we would be having the issues we would have when the ladies were born. Elizabeth was born with Goldenhar syndrome. Even though we had ultrasounds every month, sweet little, Elizabeth never rolled over to show us her pretty little face, and I believe that was a blessing for me as I would have just worried unnecessarily during my entire pregnancy. Instead, I had an uneventful pregnancy and a normal delivery. On the day of my C-section, our world was spinning. Because I didn't deliver in a hospital with a neonatal ICU, I saw Elizabeth for a hot minute, and off she went into an ambulance to go across town. At the same time, Maddie, her twin, and I remained in the hospital on the other side of town. We panicked when our neonatal doctor suggested that Elizabeth transfer to a larger neonatal hospital. How would we do this? Where would we go? How would we handle the next few years? Our neonatal doctor found us FACES on the internet (early stages 21 years ago). I called, and from that first moment, we felt we had someone in our corner. They put us in touch with other families and had us help other families who were stages behind us. They gave us financial support to travel where we needed to go without worrying about how many trips we would have to make or how much it would cost. We truly felt we had people in our corner."
Today, Liz and her twin sister, Maddie, lead an active college life, impacting their campus while pursuing their degrees. In 2020, they started a podcast called Courageously Kind featuring guests who share how kindness can change the world one act at a time. Liz and Maddie are nominated for the 2023 Cheer Choice Awards, which honors positive creators on social media who are making an impact utilizing their platforms. In June of this year, they joined FACES in Toronto at the FACE Equality International Symposium to speak about when FACES asked Liz to share her story for a blog post. That invitation fueled the birth of Liz’s online activism. It wasn’t too long after that Courageously Kind was born.
A blog post can't fully encapsulate all FACES does for our FACES families and the reasons to be thankful. We are thankful for those who share their gratitude with us! We are thankful for the generous supporters of FACES so we may continue to help families like the Adams. #facesgivehope #GivingTuesday #goldenharsyndrome #courageouslykind #craniofacialsurgery