– As featured in Aboutface‘s September Craniofacial Awareness Month publication and Giving Tuesday drive –

We are drawn to faces. We unlock our phones, identify friends and greet people with them. We face people, face adversity, face forward, face backwards and turn face. We read faces, type faces, draw faces, scale the faces of mountains and read passion, anger, love, fear, joy and pain in each others’ faces. Faces form our first impressions, lasting memories and our common understanding with others.

This is why AboutFace is so important. For those with facial differences, owning the word “face” can be done. The AboutFace network understands the obstacles associated with living, eating, speaking and seeing the conditions we can have, the daily work to conquer and embrace them, and provides countless support, strength and resource required to be successful. I am and always will be extremely grateful to know that there’s a larger community that celebrates our unique, beautiful differences.

The word “face” arouses different feelings for us than others, and always will. Faces are memorable, ours certainly so. Accepting, appreciating and loving those faces, our one conspicuous difference amongst a seemingly endless sea of symmetry, is a lifelong effort. The support of our friends, family and AboutFace makes this effort much, much easier.