ACPA Family Services

2008 Keynote Speaker

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The 7th annual CPF Connections Conference was held on Saturday, April 12, 2008 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel in Philadelphia, PA.

Connections 2008 Keynote

Meet David Roche

Connections 2008: A Conference for Patients and Families
Welcomes its Keynote Speaker

“When I walk on stage, I encourage the audience to ask, ‘What happened to your face?‘”

“I then explain that I was born with a severe facial disfigurement. On the left side of my face is an extensive cavernous hemangioma, a benign tumor consisting of blood vessels. As an infant and child I underwent many facial surgeries and heavy radiation therapy, which left radiation burns on my temple and eyelid.”

“Yet my face is a gift, because my shadow side – my difficulty and challenge – is on the outside, where I have been forced to deal with it.”

(excerpts used by permission from

CPF announces David Roche as
2008 Connections Keynote Speaker

David’s face distinguishes him from all other presenters and motivational speakers. What really makes David unique, however, is his remarkable spirit, warmth, wit and authenticity.

David has transformed the challenges and gifts of living with a facial disfigurement into a compelling message that uplifts and delights audiences around the world. The story of his heroic journey from shame to strength has inspired standing ovations from the Clinton White House to the Sydney Olympics Arts Festival, from most of the 50 states to Canada, England, New Zealand and Moscow.

David presents keynote speeches and entertainment for corporate, association, disability and educational events of all kinds. The Cleft Palate Foundation is pleased to welcome David as its keynote speaker for Connections 2008: A Conference for Patients and Families in Philadelphia, Saturday April 12, at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

He has performed his signature one-man show, The Church of 80% Sincerity, across the U.S. and in Canada, England, New Zealand, Australia and Russia. David appeared at the Clinton White House and headlined at the Olympics Arts Festival in Sydney, Australia. David and his wife Marlena Blavin present Love at Second Sight, a program for adolescents about appearance, acceptance and diversity.

David has been featured in four films, including Shameless, a 2006 feature-length documentary by Bonnie Sherr Klein from the National Film Board of Canada. The Perfect Flaw, a 2005 documentary about David by Mike Grundmann, won first place awards at the Canadian International Annual Film & Video Festival and the Da Vinci Film & Video Festival. Two other award-winning films featuring David, Face First (Mike Grundmann, 1999) and Able to Laugh (Michael J. Dougan, 1993) have been seen worldwide.

Learn more about David Roche at and look for his book, The Church of 80% Sincerity, available February 5, 2008 and at the Connections Conference in Philadelphia.