Thursday, November 23, 2017

#ThankfulThursday: #GivingTuesday Is Just 5 Days Away!


#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. This year, #GivingTuesday falls on November 28. 

#GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. It inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together. 

To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, please visit: Website: www.givingtuesday.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday Twitter: twitter.com/GivingTues

Donating on #GivingTuesday will help CCA fulfill its mission of education and empowerment. Our mission states that we "addresses the medical, financial, psychosocial, emotional, and educational concerns relating to craniofacial conditions." We do this in the following ways


  • Provide funding for medical travel so children can get to qualified, craniofacial centers
  • Create educational materials about the many different craniofacial conditions for adults, children, and medical professionals, 
  • Offer an annual retreat and symposium day in the United States for families affected by  craniofacial differences
  • ...And so much more!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Learn About #GivingTuesday, November 28, 2017


#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. This year, #GivingTuesday falls on November 28. 

#GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. It inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together. 

To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, please visit: Website: www.givingtuesday.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday Twitter: twitter.com/GivingTues

Donating on #GivingTuesday will help CCA fulfill its mission of education and empowerment. Our mission states that we "addresses the medical, financial, psychosocial, emotional, and educational concerns relating to craniofacial conditions." We do this in the following ways


  • Provide funding for medical travel so children can get to qualified, craniofacial centers
  • Create educational materials about the many different craniofacial conditions for adults, children, and medical professionals, 
  • Offer an annual retreat and symposium day in the United States for families affected by  craniofacial differences
  • ...And so much more!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Six Ways To Teach Kindness, New Lesson Plans Available



Educators around the country rejoice! CCA's Wonder curriculum is not available with just a click of the mouse. Click the images below to access a PDF of the lesson plans that you can use in your classroom. Thank you to Carolyn Johnson for her hard work on the curriculum for our teachers.























Friday, November 17, 2017

Family Spotlight: Vargas Family



Since Olivia Rae's 3rd CCA Retreat in Reston, VA she has been spreading her kindness and leaving an ever lasting impression behind, that she, like other CCA Kids, are not in fact ordinary, but extraordinary! As parents of a craniofacial child we believe the importance is believing in your child and bestowing  it upon them to never let their disabilities get in the way of theirs dreams, and she has done just that. With the movie Wonder coming out this November, Olivia starred in the commercial ad for the GapKids Back-to-school campaign and a live documentary that is scheduled to air prior to year end. In conjunction she is also hosting a private screening of the movie Wonder with the idea of bringing awareness to the communities and raising funds for CCA.  We couldn't be more proud. But as I stated we teach Olivia that the sky is the limit and boy did she fly.

Olivia is extremely compassionate about horse riding. Who knew that what started out as equine horse therapy would lead to so much more. Olivia trains at Dana Desiderio Ltd. in Bedminster, New Jersey. Since Olivia has been riding her self confidence has improved dramatically. She is more out going and daring as could be.

Starting October 2016, she took 2 classes a month. By May 2017 she dedicated all  her spare time, as she prepared for her very first Arabian Horse Association National Competition in Oklahoma City, OK. From the CCA retreat we headed west to Lexington VA, Olivia's very first show. She has to qualify in order to complete in Arabian Horse Association Nationals. Olivia competed in the Arabian and Half Arabian Hunt Seat Equitation Walk Trot 10 & Under class against approximately 30 riders, where she placed top ten. Three weeks later, Olivia also competed in the Arabian Horse Association Nationals in Canada and placed top ten in the same category.

Despite Olivia's achievements, she is currently facing procedures as a precaution to stabilize her airway.  Olivia seeks professional medical treatment at Children's Hospital of  Philadelphia. In mid May while prepping for a pallet expander it was noticed by the Olivia's orthodontics doctor that her airway looked extremely narrow through an x-ray. Days later on our Disney family vacation I noticed that Olivia breathing pattern had changed, and it wasn't for the better. Upon arriving home I immediately reached out to her doctors. A sleep study was in order which resulted in a failure and diagnosed with a 14% sleep apnea result, the very first stages of airway obstruction. Although highly disappointed, it was a blessing that we as a team was able to detect her airway condition, unlike her prior 2009 respiratory obstruction. Future procedures are being taking and a possible 4th jaw distraction in the near future. 

 Last but not least Olivia loves and adores her two brothers. Dominic Michael and Olivia Rae share something that is unbreakable and undeniable. A love that can not be broken. Ever since Dominic was born, Olivia has a little sparkle in her eye that is specially held for him. When these two are together nothing else matters. There are many laughs and many memories in the making. Most of you are not familiar with her other brother we call him Max, the four-legged, hairy, shedding, drooling boxer that she loves with all her heart.