Behind the Smile
Founder of Freestyle 4 Smile
I was born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate and I have finished my cleft journey at the age of 22. This journey required over 30 operations, 9 years of orthodontics and 1000+ appointments.
Growing up, I had an extremely difficult time in school as I was seen as different to everyone else. As a result, I was bullied both physically and verbally. In year 8, I dropped out of school to be home schooled because the negative actions of others manifested as feelings of depression and anxiety, I locked myself away afraid of the judgement of others.
I returned to mainstream school in year 10 with a new mindset, one that denied bullies the chance to control my life. A year later, I came to the realisation that I was not the only one in this world with a cleft.
I also came to the understanding that there were cleft children in the developing world that did not receive vital surgery or care and thus live a life of isolation and suffering.
In 2013, Freestyle 4 Smile was created to transform cleft lives, worldwide. Since inception, F4S has raised global awareness for cleft, helped fund surgery with Smile Train and provided support to the cleft community.
I now offer my services as an inspirational speaker to both schools and businesses to promote a positive approach in day-to-day life, personally and professionally.
"I wish I found Freestyle 4 Smile earlier, as someone born with a cleft, it has completely changed how I see myself for the better"
To raise the awareness of cleft lip & palate.
Provide support through the cleft journey.
Provide funds to cleft charities that have positive impact on cleft lives. This has included Smile Train, Cuddles 4 Clefts & CLAPA.
To help inspire others that being born with a cleft is not something to be mocked but instead, celebrated.
To motivate others to join the Freestyle family in transforming cleft lives, worldwide.