Dr. Earl Seaver, President of the Cleft Palate Foundation;
Stacy Keach, Honorary Chairperson of the Cleft Palate Foundation;
Dr. Michael Cunningham, Seattle Children’s Hospital Craniofacial Team;
a patient and her mother
Award-winning actor Stacy Keach, most famous as TV’s Mike Hammer and—more recently—as Dad on Fox’s “Titus,” was born with a cleft lip and palate. He has been Honorary Chair of the Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF) since 1994. Below are excerpts of the remarks he made at the opening session of CPF’s “Enhancing the Parent Connection” conference in Seattle in May 2002.
“Individuals born with clefts and other craniofacial conditions need to know they can still have dreams, and they’ve got to pursue those dreams. A facial birth defect doesn’t have to get in the way of achieving great things in life. Whether you are a parent or an affected individual (or both!), it’s important to take time to discuss your feelings and work them out.
We need to show the world (and especially the media!) the positive things that people like us are doing, and we need to ask for others’ support and understanding. Together we can make a better life for people with facial differences.
In 1994, I welcomed the opportunity to become Honorary Chair of the Cleft Palate Foundation. I support the Foundation’s mission of providing information and support to affected individuals and families, educating the general public about the challenges we face, and funding research into the treatment and prevention of these conditions.”
After the meeting, Stacy signed autographs for meeting participants. Then he headed across town to Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he met with families and gave away free “cleft” teddy bears from the Cleft Palate Foundation. Thanks, Stacy, for taking time out of your busy schedule to remind us that being born with a cleft doesn’t have to keep a person from achieving great things!
Last Updated: Jul 24, 2006