What We Do

The Crisp Foundation (CRISP) exists to transform children with cleft lip and/or a cleft palate into healthy smiling, children who have the unalienable right to breathe, eat, hear, smell, smile and have a normal face.  The treatment of CHILDREN WITH cleft palates includes surgeries, dental reconstruction, hearing tests and speech therapy. It usually begins in infancy and often continues through early adulthood.  We also provide additional medical care and surgery for other congenital anomalies and/or correctable injuries for children who cannot otherwise obtain government sponsored or private medical care.
 
 


CRISP's patients are not only medically challenged, but also have disfigured faces and bodies.  Their conditions push them to the outer edges of their society.  Without surgery, these children most likely will be condemned to live their lives without an education, job and may never marry. 

Dr. Strahan said, "The look on the parents' face after seeing their child come out of surgery truly touches one's heart. That's why I do it.  We come twice a year, but our goal is to make four trips per year."


The treatment of CHILDREN WITH cleft palates includes surgeries, dental reconstruction, hearing tests and speech therapy. It usually begins in infancy and often continues through early adulthood.
 
Please connect your heart with their smiles and make a donation now.

 Challenges of Cleft Lip/Palates  Additional Medical Challenges Population Served th
   
Those born with these congenital defects face the challenge of many obstacles that prevent them from leading a normal life.

These children require medical and surgical treatment for one or more of the following associated problems:
  • Feeding:  Nutrition may be inadequate because of problems with sucking and regurgitation of liquids.
  • Speech development:  Articulation and audibility are impaired because of lack of closure of either the lips or palate.
  • Hearing:  Most of these kids have chronic ear infections which cause hearing loss and, thus, educational problems. 
  • Dental Problems: Children with clefts palates have missing, extra, malformed, or displaced teeth requiring dental, orthodontic or maxillfacial treatment/surgery.
  • Breathing:  Difficulty breathing through the nose.
 Burns

In poverty-stricken homes, open firepits are the norm.  These fires are a source of injury to the scalp, face, hands and knees of children (and adults). CRISP provides reconstructive surgeries for those suffering from burns.
 Native Americans have the highest incidence of cleft lip and palate in the world.

In Guatemala, the majority of the patients CRISP serves are Mayans.  The Mayans are an agricultural society who continue to be forced off of their ancestral farming lands and into the highlands and mountains. There they live on a purely subsistent level and cannot afford to pay taxes.  As such, they have no right to vote and, subquently, have no voice in the government or legal system.

In addition, they are generally ineligible for medical care under the nationalized health care system of Guatemala and cannot afford private health insurance.
  Black Hairy Nevus    Hemangioma 
   
  Because the CRISP team visits Guatemala every six months, this cosmetically disfiguring, potentially malignant black hairy nevus was removed in stages restoring the natural beauty of a young lady.  See Results (Photo Gallery).  Hemangiomas can affect a person's appearance and can provoke attention and malicious reactions from others. The important concept for the medical team to relay to the parents is that these problems undergo a spontaneous regression.  Thus, the ability to see these children over an extended period of time becomes the cornerstone of their medical care.