The young man's eyes first captured my attention. They seemed to scream "Why am I alive, why am I here?!?" In fact, I saw his eyes first, then saw the cleft lip and palate. I later found out, the young man who was twenty-one years old, was named Shivanna. His mother told us that because of his cleft, his family, fellow villagers, teachers all teased him by calling him Ganesh after the Hindu god who had a similar mouth.
I grieved for this young man. My mind drifted back to the hurtful names I had heard hurled at my own son, Philip. I could identify with Shivanna's pain. I was also reminded of similarities between both Shivanna and Philip when I heard his life story. In spite of the unmerciful teasing, the young man persevered in school. He worked hard in spite of his speech impediment to achieve associates degree in Automotive Mechanics.
What a courageous young man! We at LWR are thrilled to be a part of the recovery journey of this handsome young man. We have completed 3 surgeries for Shivanna to help him in his transformation. He is destined to be a productive citizen with a passion to help the underprivileged. Now we can see hope in his eyes. Thank you for your support for Shivanna.