ACPA Family Services

Cleft-Craniofacial Community Stories

Mark Anthony Auclair

Mark Auclair’s Story

First off, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Mark Auclair. I’m 21 years old, and I have the shared experience of living with a cleft lip / cleft palate.

I don’t see my scar or my “abnormality” as an impairment or physical deformity. I see it as a symbol of my individuality. Of course, this has been a long time coming, but I’ve always prided myself on being an individual. I think having a cleft lip set me apart from “the crowd” and gave me the strength I needed to be who I am.

Am I arrogant? No. Am I self-assured; you better believe it. I am now in my junior year of college. I’m a writer for the college paper (the West Georgian), I used to play guitar and sing in a punk band (high school), I’m a brother in the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon (largest, most diverse fraternity in the world), I have a fun job at a bakery, an internship for a PR firm and I have a wonderful fiancée, to whom I am getting married in August 2003.

I attended the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association meeting in Atlanta a few years ago. I had an amazing time meeting such amazing people who reminded me of myself when I was younger. I have never felt sorry for people with “deformities.” I know I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me because I have a cleft lip. Instead, I feel apathy. I feel hope. I feel lucky to have met someone with such a strong will. Someone who can hold their head up and say, “This is who I am, and if you don’t like it or don’t understand it, I have no time for you.”

It’s those individuals, those who can stare adversity in the eyes and overcome it, who make a real difference in the world.

Mark Anthony Auclair

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2006