This weekend, my daughters (ages 5 and 8) will complete their first marathon. It's actually a kids' marathon that they've been working on all winter. Along with about 3,000 other kids who are registed for the Operation Smile Final Mile, they have been doing it to support a great cause: Operation Smile.
Operation Smile is a global charity that provides free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children around the globe. It's a simple surgery — it takes less than an hour — but it can literally change a child's life, allowing her to eat, drink, speak and smile in a way that she was not able to before.
According to Operation Smile, more than 200,000 children are born with a severe cleft condition each year, most of them in poor countries where parents could not even begin to afford the $240 needed for surgery. Here's a quick two-minute video of the founders, Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee, talking about why they started Operation Smile:
(Oh, by the way, I'm running my first half-marathon this weekend, too, in conjunction with my girls' race. Wish me luck!)