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:

So, this weekend, my girls will run the last mile of their marathon — they have run/walked/hopped/and skipped the other 25 miles in one-mile increments all winter long — in support of Operation Smile. They are looking forward to the race, and very proud to be supporting such an important cause. And that makes me all smiles!

(Oh, by the way, I'm running my first half-marathon this weekend, too, in conjunction with my girls' race. Wish me luck!)

Operation smile
3,000 kids will run this weekend to help bring smiles to kids who need them. Operation Smile is a global charity that provides free surgeries to repair cleft li