Saturday, April 25, 2015

5 Things Not to Say about Someone's Weight

Some folks just have to comment on your looks every time they see you.
Maybe it's your face. Or your outfit. Or your smile. Or even your shoes.
Regardless of what has piqued their interest, you know they are looking because they're commenting. And while it is always nice to receive a compliment, sometimes even well-meaning remarks bring up anxiety to those of us who already feel like a person on display.

Sometimes, a simple "Hey! It's so good to see you!" says it all. 

Blogger Meg has experienced her share of frustrating comments, too, specifically about her weight. It can be exhausting to constantly answer others' questions, so keep Meg's tips in mind next time you - or your grandma - want to make a comment about another person's appearance. Whether you're curvy or thin, chubby or skinny, dark or light, tall or short... we're all people inhabiting the body we were born with. And we all want to be accepted for who we are, not what we look like.

5 Things NOT to Say to Someone Who's Thin
by Meg Storie

1. "You probably can eat anything you want and not gain a pound!"

No, I can't actually! I have Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Any food high in fat or with milk upsets my stomach and sometimes triggers heartburn. I don't have fast food very often; it's a treat when I do. I love my frozen yogurt sometimes. And because of GERD, I must eat early, hours before bedtime.

2. "You look like you are ten!"

Let's be honest: I do not look like I'm ten. This statement is too quick of a reaction and you should have thought before you spoke. In my early twenties, this is the "compliment" I get mostly, but even though we universally accept that everyone wants to look younger, no one wants to be infantilized. I'm a woman, not a child.

3. "How much do you weigh? You must be only X pounds!"

This is not the Fair and I didn't just give you three chances to win a prize. You wouldn’t ask an overweight person how much they weigh, so you certainly don’t ask someone who’s underweight.

4. "Do you eat?

What a silly question! I wouldn't be here if I didn't! The truth is, I love to eat. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new recipes on apps, dark chocolate, and eating David's heart healthy dinners! Eating is something I enjoy, but I have to mind my restrictions for my health.

5. “You need to put some weight on you.”

This statement assumes so much about me that is really unfair. I have been small all my life, so barring any physical changes to my body's chemistry, I'll be staying this way. For many underweight people, it is just as hard to gain weight as it is for an overweight person to lose weight.

In the end, making the world a kinder place is about shifting our communication patterns from commenting on people's looks to connecting with their spirit. There are many ways to start a conversation or compliment someone.

If you're guilty of saying some of these things out of habit, why not brainstorm a list of creative things to say instead? We came up with 5 Alternatives to get you started...

  1. Hi, Ginny! It is so great to see you! 
  2. You look radiant today, Margaret! So rested and healthy! Where should we get lunch?
  3. Corbin, I love that you came to the meeting! We're glad you're on our team.
  4. You're such an inspiration, Jake! When did you starting running 5Ks?
  5. Kelly, I have been eating way too much red meat lately. Do you know any good fish recipes you'd like to share?
Can you think of more? Share them in the comments!

Finally remember, "Always be kind. You never know the battle someone is fighting."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

#ThankfulThursday - All the Way for CCA

Tomorrow, April 24, one of our first family fundraisers of the year kicks off: The All the Way for CCA Golf Tournament, at the Battleground Golf Course in Deer Park, Texas.

We know it takes a lot of work to put on a great golf tournament, so we thank you in advance to the golf club staff, volunteers, golfers, donors, sponsors, and friends! Your actions inspire kindness in your community and the funds you raise change children's lives!

Thank you for supporting CCA!

If you'd like to host a family fundraiser for CCA, contact the office. All families who raise $5000 or more for CCA are eligible for a hotel scholarship to the 2016 CCA Family Retreat & Educational Symposium

Monday, April 20, 2015

Flying High Now - Molly's Story

Today on the blog, we have a repost from the University of Chicago Medicine's Comer Children's Hospital. Trish Lawson generously shared her daughter's story with us. We know you'll be inspired by little Molly's surgical journey. To see more photos of Molly, check out the story on the Comer Children's Hospital blog!

Pediatric Team Remedies Pierre Robin Sequence Enabling Molly Lawson to Breathe, Eat and Thrive

Molly Lawson weighed a healthy 8 pounds, 5 ounces when she was born on October 2, 2012. But in her first week of life, she lost an alarming two pounds because of a rare birth defect that left her unable to easily breathe or swallow.

Just after Molly’s birth to John and Trish Lawson of Hobart, Ind., doctors at nearby Franciscan St. Anthony Hospital in Crown Point, diagnosed her with Pierre Robin sequence. This congenital condition is characterized by a cleft palate as well as an underdeveloped jaw that pushes the tongue toward the back of the throat, where it can obstruct the airway. Neonatologists at St. Anthony’s recommended the couple bring Molly to experts at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Russell Reid, MD, PhD, and pediatrician Darrel Waggoner, MD, met with the Lawsons when they arrived at the medical center. Reid and Waggoner lead a multidisciplinary cleft lip and cleft palate clinic that assesses and treats about 20 children with mild to severe Pierre Robin sequence each year.

“Molly was in respiratory distress and struggling to eat,” Waggoner said. “She was expending all of her calories for breathing, so nothing was left for growth.” The medical duo told the worried parents it wasn’t safe for them to bring their daughter home.

The Best Thing for Molly
Until recently, most patients with Molly’s condition underwent a tracheostomy, a surgical procedure that creates an opening in the neck into the trachea, or windpipe, to access the airway. A tube, or “trach,” stayed in place until the child’s jaw developed enough to allow an adequate airway. This could take several years, required a high level of care by the parents, and was not always successful.

“In Molly’s case, we could offer her an implanted device that would advance her lower jaw,” Reid said. Called a mandibular distraction, the surgical method involves cutting the jaw on both sides and securing an internal device, or distractor, to the bones with tiny plates and screws. Small rods attached to the device exit through the skin. A tool inserted into the rods is then turned one to two millimeters each day, increasing the distance between the fractured bones. The bone naturally regenerates as part of the healing process and fills in the gaps. When the distraction process is complete -- usually in about two weeks -- the jaw has been brought forward and the tongue no longer blocks the airway.

Trish recalled her thoughts while listening to Reid and Waggoner explain the complex process. “I couldn’t believe the description of the surgery,” she said. ”But the doctors gave us peace of mind and all the insight and information we needed to move ahead. We understood that this option would save her life. As hard as it was to imagine, we knew it was the best thing for Molly.”

Activating the Medical Team
As Molly was being admitted to the Neonatology Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Comer Children’s Hospital, Waggoner and Reid were calling on pediatric sleep specialist Hari Bandla, MD, and pediatric otolaryngologist Fuad Baroody, MD, to consult on her case and assist in a full evaluation before surgery.

Within 48 hours, Bandla performed a sleep study on Molly to gauge the number of times her breathing paused (apnea) and to test her oxygen levels. Results showed an index of 39 apnea events per hour and oxygen saturation as low as 51 percent.
“These numbers demonstrated the severity of Molly’s breathing problems,” Bandla said, “and gave us a baseline for measuring success after distraction.”

Using a scope, Baroody examined her airway and evaluated the distance between her tongue and the back of her throat. “It was clear that bringing her lower jaw forward would improve her situation,” he said.

These assessments gave Reid the critical information needed to cement the decision to perform surgery.

Getting Strong Now
After regaining weight during five days in the NICU, Molly was healthy enough to undergo the mandibular distraction surgery. On October 25, Reid implanted the device as Baroody worked alongside to ensure that Molly’s airway was secure and clear throughout the four-hour procedure.
“Communication from the operating room was great,” Trish said. “We had updates every half hour and the doctors assured us that everything was going as planned.”

Molly recovered in the NICU where the medical staff turned the distractors twice each day, an uncomfortable, but not painful process for the infant. By the time she went home two weeks later, her jaw had advanced 2 centimeters, or close to an inch. The follow-up sleep study, done 12 days after surgery, measured only 2.5 apnea events per hour and 90 percent oxygen saturation.

“Her breathing and feeding improved right away and the parents could see the difference in her appearance,” said Reid, who performed three additional surgeries on Molly over 15 months, one to remove the distractors and two to correct her cleft palate.

Trish says while it was heartbreaking for the family to watch their baby wheeled into surgery each time, it was amazing so see how quickly she would bounce back. “It was the scariest situation we have ever been in, but also the most rewarding,” she said.

Today, John and Trish describe Molly as happy, thriving and sassy. The little girl continues to gain weight and is reaching all of her developmental milestones.

Still, Molly’s medical team will follow her for years to come. “We’ll monitor her for breathing, speech, swallowing, hearing and dental issues,” Reid said. “We want to be sure she is always functional as well as happy and healthy.”

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#ThankfulThursday - itriforgood

Children's Craniofacial Association is thankful for Katie & Kyle Caniglia and the awesome fundraising opportunity they created through ITRIFORGOOD.ORG, an online fundraising tool that delivers 100% of funds raised by athletes to their charities of choice! ITRIFORGOOD's mission is "to make any endurance event a fundraising opportunity for your favorite non-profit organization."

Wow ... what a cool mission!

If you enjoy physical fitness and endurance racing, you can register ANY race as an ITRIFORGOOD race and raise money for your favorite cause... like CCA! Check out how you can become an inspiring fundraiser here:

We love what ITRIFORGOOD is doing and all of the passionate athletes raising money for good causes!

The next athlete competing for CCA is Amy Stone... check out her page and stay tuned for an interview with Amy coming soon on our blog!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

#ThankfulThursday - Exhib-it!

This #ThankfulThursday, CCA is thankful to EXHIB-IT! for choosing CCA 
as the Nonprofit Spotlight for the month of April. This special promotion on their website 
and the upcoming fundraiser at Olo Yogurt next month make a huge difference 
in the lives of our CCA Kids by encouraging awareness and acceptance.
Together, we are spreading the #ChooseKind message 
and helping our cranio kids live full and exciting lives.

Special Albuquerque Fundraiser: May 20, 2015
Josiah Torres, of EXHIB-IT!, will be hosting a special profit-share day sponsored by Olo Yogurt, all day on Wednesday, May 20th.  Stop by any time, during regular hours, on May 20th and a percentage going to CCA!  Come alone, bring a friend or a group, and experience the 
“Best Frozen Dessert” – 2013, 2012 & 2011 winner of Best of Burque Restaurants, Alibi
For more information call (408-771-6437), or email Josiah at