Two faces, one child

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Xena Cordova 5 years Philippines Pre

Two faces. One child. Meet Xena Cordova from the Philippines.

This little girl is five years old and comes from one of the country’s poorest areas. Her parents, though loving, are uneducated and illiterate. They could never afford to pay for the cleft surgery their beautiful but disfigured daughter needed.

But help was at hand. Someone told her family about a hospital that ran a free cleft surgery progamme for poor children. They took Xena to Philippine Band of Mercy and a few days later, on 21 March 2009, she received surgery from The Smile Train-funded surgeon Dr Richard Joseph Cabot.

Xena Cordova 5 years Philippines Post

Now meet Xena again. Her surgery took less than one hour. It was a total success. Note the difference not only in her lip but in her nose. Xena is both one of the unlucky and lucky ones. Unlucky because she had to live with this impairment for five years, tormented by other children and shunned by many. But lucky, because unlike millions like her throughout the world, she has been able to have this simple, life-transforming surgery. Now, The Smile Train Co-Founder and President Brian Mullaney tells us, Xena is able to go to school for the first time.

The Smile Train has been generously supported by the travel retail industry. Like our own business sector The Smile Train is a truly global enterprise, operating (literally) in over 75 countries.

Our sector faces tough times amid a worsening global financial crisis. But those hardships are nothing compared with what cleft children from poor backgrounds go through. Please keep remembering The Smile Train – just US$250 will change the life of a child such as Xena, forever.  And if you’re unsure about that, take a look at the two faces of Xena below.

 Xena Cordova 5 years Philippines PreXena Cordova 5 years Philippines Post

The Smile Train can be contacted at

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