Saturday, May 27, 2017

Boston Children's Hospital Hosts 1st Cleft Lip and Palate Parent Support Group








The Cleft and Craniofacial Center is so excited to announce our first "Children with Cleft Lip & Palate Parent Support Group" meeting on Saturday, June 3rd, 4:30-6:30pm at our Waltham location!
Join other cleft lip & palate families for this free event as we build relationships, encourage one another, and tackle difficult topics. 
RSVP to Amanda.Lassiter@childrens.harvard.edu or 617-919-6177. We hope to see you there!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Family Spotlight: The Morales



We knew that 2017 was going to be a big surgery year for Sydney and our family, so we decided that we would have an amazing family vacation in 2016.  We were able to go on a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean during the summer.  We visited Grand Turk Island, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and St. Thomas.  
We hung out at the amazing beaches on Grand Turk Island and St. Thomas. 

We are Puerto Rican and had an opportunity to visit family while our ship docked on the lovely island of Puerto Rico. 

When we docked in the Dominican Republic, Sydney and the family, got to swim with the dolphins. As you can see Sydney loved it.     

In July, Joel and I found out that we were pregnant. We told the kids in September. Our  new baby girl, Jolie Christine Morales, arrived on February 14, 2017. Sydney is a great big sister to Jolie. 

We are a large family Kayla age 15, Janice 12, Nathen 10, and Sydney is 9 years old.   Their updates are below.

This summer Sydney attended Camp Smile at Shriners Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL.  It was a 1-week intensive, speech therapy camp.  Channel 9 WGN highlighted the camp and a special application that they used with the campers.  Sydney stole the show! See video here.




This year is a big one for Sydney with 3 tentative surgeries scheduled.  She will be having her alevolar bone graft on July 13th at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She may also will undergo facial reconstruction and get a magnet inserted for her BAHA sometime this year, too. Finally, Sydney was beyond excited to become a big sister in February. 


Nathen writes, "I had a birthday this year. I made double digits. I'm excited about my dad and I being the only men to my new baby sister."

Janice is our family clown. She is beyond funny.  In September, she went to her first comedy show, she saw internet sensation Maranda Sings perform.  Janice also had the rare opportunity to Facetime with Major League Baseball player, Javier Baez (#9 for Chicago Cubs). She was hysterical when he said "Hello."



Kayla is a sophomore in high school. She completed her freshman year as an honor roll student. She is working hard to continue with her excellent grades.  After 3 long years Kayla's braces came off in January!  Finally, she is very proud to be a big sister again to the newest addition to the family.






*Important Retreat Information* Sign-Up Deadlines Fast Approaching



Here is a message from Annie Reeves about some very important upcoming Retreat Deadlines. You may have received these via email. Here they are again...in case you missed it.  -Kara J.

Educational Symposium Childcare Sign Up 

Educational Symposium. Once again, this will be taking place on Thursday, June 29th, beginning at 8:00am. Please click on the link below to sign up for the hours your child/children will be needing childcare. The kids will be split up into two groups: ages 0-3/ages 4 and up.
May 31st: Deadline to sign up for child care during the Educational Symposium and the Symposium sessions you and your family will be attending. (Link for the Symposium sessions is below) https://docs.google.com/forms/ d/1IFjw2VMgYhf_621_ f0DH7BaoiJrZGf3--HYKxaggAQc/ edit?ts=58bec626  (Symposium) 
Wonder Song Performance Casting Call 
We have some exciting news to share with you! Longtime CCA Retreat attendee and performing artists, Bianca Moon, has teamed up with Director Edward Edwards and Ed O’Neill (Modern Family, Finding Dory) to record an incredible song, aptly titled "The Wonder Song." This song is inspired not only by the book and film, but more importantly it is a love song to CCA Kids!
Bianca will be performing this song during the Dinner/Dance on Saturday, July 1st, and we need your help! We are looking for Retreat Attendees to be participants to sing and perform this song with Bianca! If you are interested, you will be sent the lyrics and a recording of the song. You will be responsible for learning the song prior to the retreat. You will also be required to attend a performance rehearsal during Retreat. The times are 4:30pm-5:30pm on Thursday, June 29th and 10:15am-12:15pm on Saturday, July 1st.  You can sign up by emailing me directly or by signing up on the Retreat Events/Meal sign-up below.

Photo Submission

May 20th: Deadline to submit picture for our retreat program. This can be a family picture, picture of your child/children or an individual picture.

    Retreat Event and Meals 

June 5th: Deadline to complete the Retreat Event/Meals Sign-Up Sheets (Links is below)

   Book Your Hotel Room 

June 8th: Last day to book your room at CCAs discounted rate. Here is the online booking link and our discounted rate is $149 per night, plus tax.https://resweb.passkey.com/go/ 27thAnnualCHERsFamilyRetreat             

DJ Song Requests for Dinner/Dance Night
Also, in case you missed it or aren’t on Facebook, I did make a post this morning requesting songs for the DJ to play during our dinner/dance. If you have some songs you would like to hear, either comment on Facebook or email me. J Our DJ will do the best he can to play as many songs as possible.

Thanks and I will be reaching out to all of you soon, 
   Annie Reeves

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#ThankfulThursday: Celebrate Face Equality Day on Friday, May 26th with Changing Faces




By Kara Jackman


Changing Faces, a nonprofit organization out of the United Kingdom that supports all people with facial differences is celebrating its first Face Equality Day. There are many activities happening online and in the UK to help raise awareness for those with facial differences. Most important of all is the publication of a  groundbreaking research study, which findings detail and quantify the perceptions of those with facial differences, or disfigurements (the word used by the Changing Face website.) The findings will be published in the weeks to come.

On Friday, May 26th, straight from the Changing Faces website, here are a bunch of ways to get involved. 



1. Paint A Butterfly To Show Your Solidarity


The logo for Changing Faces is a butterfly like the one pictured to the right. Create your own on your hand, face, or as a piece of art. Then post a picture of it on social media to raise awareness and show support. Don't forget the hashtag. #FaceEquality Day! @FaceEquality




2. Social Media 

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and More
Post statistics from the Changing Faces site on the social media platform of your choice. Be sure to use the hashtag #FaceEquality Day! @FaceEquality and @CCAKids to recognize all the great work these nonprofits do. Here are more tips for social media engagement posted by our friends at Changing Faces

Support our Thunderclap

If you’re a Twitter user, support our Thunderclap message to go out on Face Equality Day. Let your followers know that you’re supporting face equality!

3. Sign the Face Equality Pledge

Changing Faces created a pledge for individuals, companies, organizations, and groups to sign. This pledge will signify a commitment to fair and equal treatment of all people, but especially those with facial differences.  Sign the Pledge here!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Celebrate #WonderWednesday with the Dankelsons


Happy #WonderWednesday  Last week, Dede, Jacob, and Pete Dankelson visited the Jonathan Burr School in Chicago to share their family's story and to remind students to Always Choose Kind. 

CCA offers so many great curriculum and program offerings around the book Wonder. Learn more by visiting the 'Wonder' section of the CCA website . If you are a teacher, librarian, or group leader, we have everything you need to facilitate conversation and build activities around R. J. Palacio's novel. 

Don't forget...the movie version of the book is coming out soon, too. Read it now and be ready when it comes to a theater near you!




#ChooseKind Assembly at Jonathan Burr School in Chicago
Photo Credit: Dede Dankelson