Hi, I am a fifth year dental student at Queen’s University Belfast.

Today, 1 in 700 babies in the UK is born with a cleft lip and/or palate, the most common form of birth defect. The impact on a child’s life as they grow is profound, with patients typically requiring up to four operations and ongoing treatment. In the developing world, cleft patients are frequently not operated on until later in life, if at all. The consequences of which are often severe.

CLEFT is a charity that provides sustainable care and long-term solutions for children born with cleft lip and palate both in the UK and in countries with poorer resources.

There is still so much that is unknown about clefts and why they occur. CLEFT supports research that aims to advance knowledge on the possible causes of clefts and the most effective, and also the kindest, treatment for children born with clefts of lip and palate.

I am running the Berlin Marathon on 23rd September 2023 to raise funds for this worthwhile cause.