Hi! My name is Brooke Hira. I love to read and do anything related to art! I love to create anything and everything from painting to molding clay to baking. I am also a competitive soccer and tennis player, 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 quite the same as me. Although I had great support from my family and friends, I have always felt just a little different. When I was younger the differences didn’t stand out as much. However, as I approached my teen years, my subtle scar somehow became more significant. I became more aware of societal placement on looking a certain way and felt the pressure of wanting to blend in. In addition to the numerous medical issues, many cleft lip and palate kids like myself also have to deal with the emotional impact. During my process of researching about cleft lip and palate and seeking out support, I realized there is a constant, world-wide need for funding of surgeries as well the need for support of kids and their families. I wanted to make a difference so I began baking and selling treats as a way to raise money for different cleft lip organizations and my efforts have continued to grow ever since.
By 2017, my campaigning efforts had grown and I began Just a Smile, in an effort to grow even more awareness and money. Through my experiences I’ve also discovered that the medical support is only one aspect and that the emotional support was just as important. I’ve recognized the positive impact that kindness and acceptance can have on a person and I am motivated to speaking out and promoting empathy and compassion for others. I’ve met some amazing friends and people along the way and I’m looking forward to meeting many more and continuing my efforts for this great cause!