Henry Baddour: Cleft Proud
My name is Henry Baddour. I am a junior in high school and I was born with a cleft lip and palate at UNC Hospitals in North Carolina. I have had over a dozen surgeries related to my cleft, the last (hopefully!) was in June of last year in DC.
I feel having a cleft has shaped me in a way nothing else could, and I am happy it did. I want to think having a cleft hasn’t held me back, but pushed me to do everything I can to help others in a way and become a better person. I have spoken at multiple events related to cleft lip and palate and have done everything I could to grow our supportive community.
During the recovery of my most major surgery, I was looking for some type of support for people just like me, and I couldn’t find anything. All I could find were support groups for mothers of cleft babies. So right then and there, I started thinking of a way to make sure no one ever has to feel the same way I did then. Alone and not understood. There’s just something about talking with someone who knows exactly what you’re going through. And now, about a year later, there’s CleftProud. A safe, supportive community for anyone affected by cleft. I am proud of my difference and I hope everyone else can strive for the same. Another way to say it is, I am CleftProud. I hope you can say the same sometime soon.