Elsie’s Choice

My name is Elsie, I am 41 years old, married with one child. I have lived with a cleft lip for my entire life. I have no education, no job, my marriage is failing, I am taunted and ridiculed for the way I look. I get angry at people and hit them when I can’t take it anymore. I feel ashamed and worthless, a broken woman. What am I to do?

One day I heard about a woman who was looking for sufferers of cleft lip and palate to come forward to be considered for surgery. I was hopeful. What did I have to lose! Could it be that I might be considered? I arrived at the appointed place, my heart sank, they were all children! I felt my hope disappear. I was old, no one would look at me!

This very same woman approached me, would she tell me to leave? No, she said, “Why have you come to our Outreach?” I told her my story, my parents wouldn’t let me have an operation as a child as they were afraid I would die. And now my husband will leave me because I am so ugly, I sobbed!

She said, “Elsie, it is our pleasure to help you.”

Oh the joy I felt at hearing those words, my life will never be the same. Now when I walk down the street, I hold my head up high. I look at people in the eye. My husband now wants to be with me, our marriage is good. I want to look for a job. I thank God for all those that helped me to have an operation.

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About Us

The Ruel Foundation is a not-for-profit Children's Charity committed to bringing significant and lasting change to children in need around the world.