Hi! My name is Brooke Hira and I am 14 years old. I love to read and do crafts. I love to create anything and everything from painting to molding clay to baking. I am also a soccer player and have been playing competitively since I was six years old, and I was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate.
From the time I was young I have always wondered why other kids didn’t look the same as me. Although I had great support from my family and friends, I still felt like I would have benefited greatly from meeting and getting support from other kids just like me. I began a couple of years ago to reach out and connect with other kids.
Along my journey, I realized that a lot of kids with this condition felt isolated and alone and needed a lot of support. I also saw many families in need of financial assistance. There are many costs associated with caring for cleft lip and palate children; from special feeding bottles during infancy to expensive dental and orthodontic care throughout adolescent and teenage years.
With the encouragement of my family, I was motivated to start my charity, Just a Smile, in order to raise awareness and money to aid families in need. I realize my cleft lip and palate didn’t make me different but it was just a part of what makes me… me! Therefore, I hope to meet as many kids as possible to spread the message of love and kindness. I want to let every kid that is affected by cleft lip and palate know that they are unique and special and that their smile is beautiful.