I would have loved to see the sweet beginning of Saline’s much anticipated smile which also marks the end of the journey we have traveled for the last four years on a very rough and painful road,i have to leave since it is unavoidable . Out of nothing and without any ray of hope,we started and stumbled.Little did we know that at some point God would bond us with selfless,loving and generous people who have now seen us this far.
1) Saline has been undergoing a series of fluid injections in order to expand her skin in anticipation of her next surgery which has been scheduled for Monday, September 16. Dr. Alex Dagum will perform an extensive series of procedures to close her facial defect with two grafts as well as create a nose using a rib graft. The surgery will take place at Stony Book Hospital and take approximately 4-5 hours. There will be two additional surgeries before she can return home.
2) Duncan has been excused from his teaching responsibilities by the Kenyan government for a three month period of time in order to accompany Saline. In order to keep his job, he will have to return home at the end of September or early October. Unfortunately, due to the number of surgeries and the anticipated healing time, Dr. Dagum does not feel that Saline can return home until sometime in November. This creates three dilemmas. First, in order to legally operate on Saline, we need a local guardian. Second, we need someone to accompany Saline back to Nairobi and the adult that travels with her may need to be her guardian. Finally, we need a host family that is willing to supervise her recovery. Volunteers and suggestions are welcome.
3) I would like to schedule a meeting to discuss our findings before Duncan returns home. Save the date: Friday October 25, 7:00 pm, Emma Clark Library. I realize that everyone may not be available, however it is important to have representation from each committee so we can move forward.
Once again, your participation is greatly appreciated.
Saline has safely arrived and is staying with her host family in Stony Brook ahead of her upcoming surgery. Now 12 years old, Saline suffers from a cleft palate as well as bout of flesh eating bacteria, which caused even more serious damage. Dr. Alex Dagum will lead the surgical team at Stony Brook University Hospital to repair the damage, the funding for which came from friends, family and generous donors over the past two years. A special thank you must go to the wonderful families hosting Saline and her teacher, Duncan, during their month-long stay in New York.
Please join us in welcoming Saline to our community and wishing her well in her series of upcoming surgeries!
Our fundraising efforts are ongoing, and we appreciate any support you can offer. To donate, please visit our website at www.smilerescuefund.org
I’m happy to say that the Kenyan government has granted Saline a medical visa and passport to come to here for surgery. The Smile Rescue Fund for Kids supplied all financial records and legal documents necessary to the Kenyan consulate. This was our last major obstacle. I am in the process of buying airline tickets for Saline and her adult tutor, Duncan. We owe a lot of gratitude to Esther, our Kenyan contact, for helping our cause.
This has not been an easy road for Saline. As you may know, last winter we raised enough money to fund a plastic surgery team in Nairobi to perform the procedure. Unfortunately, the surgery was not successful. This was a devastating disappointment for Saline, her family and all of her supporters back here at home. After that, the Smile Rescue Fund did not give up on Saline but renewed its efforts to bring her here. We anticipate a series of complex surgeries over the course of three to six months with no guarantee of success. However, we are very optimistic and very grateful to Dr. Dagum, his colleagues and Stony Brook University Hospital for donating their services to help Saline. This will be her best opportunity for a successful result. See article in Times Beacon Record Newspaper.
I am also very grateful to all of our wonderful supporters and fundraisers for their efforts in making Saline’s dream of living a normal life a possibility.
Based on Dr. Dagum’s and the hospital’s schedule, arrangements are being made to bring Saline and Duncan here at the end of May.
At this time, we are looking for volunteers to house Saline and Duncan for part, or all, of their stay.
Please forward this story to your facebook friends. Hopefully with your help we will be able to help more children like Saline. Without us, they have no hope.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,I received received an email from my contact in Kenya last week. Our efforts to bring Saline to the U.S. for surgery have been blocked by her inability to get a visa and passport due to lack of a birth certificate. For the past year, we have been appealing and diligently looking for a legal diplomatic workaround. Finally, on January 9th, Saline will be granted an interview for a visa. Arrangements have been made to transport Saline and her teacher Duncan to Nairobi for the appointment.As the year comes to a close, on behalf of Saline, I want to thank all of our SRFK loyal friends and supporters. Your support, contributions and fundraising efforts are well appreciated. Once we get proper credentials, I will buy airline tickets for Saline and Duncan. Due to the severity of her facial deformity, Dr. Alex Dagum and his medical team anticipate preforming a series of necessary surgeries and will require her staying here for approximately 6 months.In the meantime, please forward this email to your friends and online contacts. Tax deductible donations can easily be made via Paypal on our website. www.smilerescuefund.orgI remain cautiously optimistic and hope to bring you good news soon.LeonFounder, Smile Rescue Fund for Kids, Inc.
Who said that one person can’t make a difference? Obviously, Heather never got the memo. This remarkable 10 year old girl decided she was going to help raise money to help another young girl that was not as fortunate. Heather sold tee shirts, and obtain donations from her church, friends, neighbors and anyone else willing to help. She emailed me and announced her lofty goal of $500. Well, this week she came into my office and presented me with a check for almost $900.00. On behalf of Saline, a great big “thanks you”. I am amazed, what do you think?
Dr. Leon Klempner
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