Eleven-Year-Old Girl Hopes to Spread Smiles Across the World

By: Ali Gorman, R.N.
By: Ali Gorman, R.N.

Kellie Drongowski doesn't understand exactly what a cleft palate is, but she knows her younger sister Samantha had one as a baby.

A cleft lip or cleft palate is a hole in the lip or the roof of the mouth. It can lead to problems with speech and nutrition, and can lead to ridicule by peers.

Samantha had her cleft palate fixed by a team of specialists, but for thousands of kids in developing countries, getting the medical attention they need is not option. That's how "Operation Smile" and Kellie Drongowski hope to help.

Drongowski is sending all the proceeds of her two-day yard sale to "Operation Smile." It's an organization where American doctors, nurses and speech therapists travel to third world countries to fix thousands of cleft lips and cleft palates.

It costs about $750 for the team to repair a cleft lip. Drongowski will continue her yard sale through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. It's on Madonna Drive in Delta Township. Just follow the signs.

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