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Recognizing The Designation Of September As Craniofacial Acceptance Month

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. CANTOR. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the designation of the month of September as Craniofacial Acceptance Month.

* September has been designated as Craniofacial Acceptance Month to raise awareness and acceptance of the courageous children and adults who live daily with craniofacial deformities. These brave patients and their families often face significant medical challenges over the course of their lives. While the commonly known cleft palate or cleft lip condition may call for a simple surgical fix, there are many other unique and complex anomalies which can require extensive surgeries throughout a child's developmental years.

* In the 7th District of Virginia, a young constituent of mine named Chase has a moderately severe craniofacial deformity. At the age of 9, he has already had 28 surgeries and hospitalizations to improve his ability to breathe, walk, see, hear, and talk. He will need more surgeries as he grows. Despite his many challenges, Chase and his family celebrate his growth and milestones with joy. His unique medical needs do not stop him from riding the bus to school and making friends. His big smile and enthusiasm for life have enabled Chase and his family to approach each day with a positive outlook.

* This month also marks the 20th anniversary of the Children's Craniofacial Association, an incredible charitable organization that offers a network of resources and assistance to families with children who have deformities. The association's mission is to ``widen the circle of acceptance,'' through promoting the message that ``beyond the face, there is a heart.'' I would like to commend the CCA for connecting Chase, his family and other families across America with resources to improve the lives of these patients. I encourage all of my colleagues to join me in raising awareness of the needs of these extraordinary individuals.

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