Patients Get Glammed Up at Cleft Spa Day
In celebration of Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month, the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Team at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital hosted Thursday its first ever spa day at Josephine’s Day Spa and Salon in Pearland, Texas. The event served as an opportunity for cleft patients and their families to enjoy a relaxing day at the spa with full hair, makeup and massage services.
“We’ve always been very aware of the babies and attentive toward them, but we forget they’re teens. They’re young adults, so we wanted to cater to them and, especially this month, wanted to honor them,” said event organizer Leanne Doringo, clinic coordinator for the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Team at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
“We just want to glam them up, make them feel really good about themselves because, of course, with having a cleft lip and palate, they don’t feel confident with the scarring and all,” added Daniella Coca, Josephine’s salon manager.
Coca’s 2-year-old son, Anthony, was treated by Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth pediatric plastic surgeon John F. Teichgraeber, M.D., and his team for a unilateral cleft lip and palate. She said her experiences with the hospital staff and seeing what her son and other cleft patients went through inspired her to give the kids a positive experience away from the self-image issues and insecurities that are often a result of cleft conditions.
“With the clients who are coming in, we just want to let them know that they are beautiful regardless of anything they’ve gone through before. Everyone is unique, so that’s what we want them to feel,” Coca said. “They’re just as beautiful as anybody, so they shouldn’t feel not confident. They should always have that confidence with them regardless of any scarring.”
With former cleft patient Yesenia Montufar’s quinceañera to celebrate her 15th birthday coming up in a couple of weeks, she said the spa day was a great way to try something new and feel better about herself.
“I wanted to come to experience something different. I really like they transformation they made,” Montufar said. “I’m always confident with who I am, but I feel more excited now.”