When Cameron’s mother was six months pregnant, a routine ultrasound revealed an unidentified dark mark around his mouth. Suspecting a cleft palate, her doctors referred her to the Craniofacial Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The doctors at the Center quickly dispelled her uncertainties, supplying information on cleft palates and helping her know when the baby arrived. Tough as a diagnosis of a cleft palate is for any parent, the wealth of information the Center offered gave Cameron’s mother the clarity and purpose she needed to prepare for her new son’s life.
Only 12, Cameron has undergone reparative surgeries for his cleft lip and palate, as well as a bone graft to repair his jaw, and surgery to implant tubes in his ears. Also born with Down’s syndrome and Autism, Cameron has faced a steeper journey than most, struggling with learning disabilities even while facing his harrowing treatment schedule. Today, however, he has blossomed into a vibrant child, refusing to let his difficulties interfere with his naturally energetic demeanor.
Cameron now visits the Center four times a year, meeting with Dr. Cohen for regular checkups. Face the Future Foundation’s assistance to the Center allows it to provide continuing care to children like Cameron throughout their youth, consistently furnishing a level of personal attention that keeps his mother making the regular trip from the far South Side where they live.