Lippy the Lion, a goodwill ambassador representing families of children born
with cleft lip and palate, is coming to this community soon.
Lippy is the “travelling ambassador” for Wide Smiles, a support and
information network for families dealing with cleft lip and palate (www.widesmiles.org/)
One in 700 births is touched in some way by a clefting condition. This means
that for one reason or another, the lip and/or the palate did not fuse during
gestation. The result is a structure in the mouth, often involving the face,
that does not work, and can be initially startling to the new parent. Families
then go on to deal with a variety of issues, including feeding issues, speech
and hearing issues, an ongoing regimen of surgeries, and self-esteem issues in
the child. Most children born with Cleft feel completely alone in their
But Lippy is here to help that. Lippy is a stuffed toy lion who, like our
children, was born with a cleft lip. Stitches in his lip confirm for the child
that Lippy, too, has undergone operating room procedures. Lippy wears the stiff
“no-no” sleeves and his own “peek-a-booty” hospital gown, showing
children everywhere that he understands their experiences as only one who has
been there, done that, can. Those who have visited Lippy have kept a journal and
a photo album that not only travels with Lippy, but is also located on the web.
This way, Lippy’s friends can keep up with where he is at all times, while at
the same time, they “meet” many other children who also deal with cleft.
Lippy is also available to share information about clefting with the communities
he visits. Consider highlighting this goodwill ambassador and his message when
he visits your community. Lippy will circle the globe many times over in the
next few years, because children everywhere need a friend to help them feel so
Date of Lippy’s visit
___________________ family __________________
Contact phone number
Or, email us at LippyLionWS@hotmail.com
Back to Lippy's home page
Back to Wide Smiles
Copyright © 2002 Wide Smiles. All rights reserved.
Revised: October 06, 2002