Annual Reunion Connects Pediatric Cleft Patients, Families With Others Who Share Their Rare Conditions
Dozens of children with
craniofacial anomalies recently convened at a Houston area park to enjoy an
afternoon of fun and camaraderie at the 2nd annual social reunion of
patients from the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Clinic at Children’s
Memorial Hermann Hospital
and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
event drew more than 130 people, including current and former patients of the
clinic ranging in ages from 2 months old to 15 years old. At least four
families attended whose babies have been diagnosed in-utero and are expected to
be born in the coming months, giving them an exclusive opportunity to network
with other families with experience managing the diagnosis.
offers a unique opportunity for our patients to see and interact with so many
other children who look like them and have been through what they have been
through. They begin to realize that they are not alone in this world,” said Dr. Matthew Greives, pediatric plastic surgeon at
Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and McGovern Medical School. “For the
parents, the reunion offers a chance to connect with other families with whom
they have developed an online kinship through various virtual support groups.
It’s a chance for these families to say ‘hello’ to each other for the first
time, and thank their supporters for helping them get through their challenging
reunions are also a special treat for the physicians and nurses, giving them a
chance to reconnect with the countless pediatric patients and families who have
touched their lives over the years.
team, it’s a celebration,” Dr. Greives said. “Our patients are like family to
us and it’s a joy to be able to share in their lives as they continue to grow
and thrive long after they graduate from our care.”
Led by Dr. John F. Teichgraeber, a pediatric plastic surgeon at
Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and McGovern Medical School, the Texas
Cleft-Craniofacial Clinic in recent years has been rapidly growing and
expanding its suite of comprehensive treatment options for patients in Houston
and beyond. The clinic team specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment
and long-term management of children with congenital or acquired cleft and
out a photo gallery from the reunion.