My name is Zobaria Ali. I was born with cleft lip and palate at Stevens Hospital in Washington. On my third day, I was transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital, where they have a dedicated, ACPA Approved Team. I remained a patient there for the next 20 years. I underwent 22 surgeries, beginning with my lip repair. I had years of speech therapy and the staff and medical team at Seattle Children’s was pretty much my second family.
My parents immigrated here a couple of years before I was born. They had no prior knowledge or resources to cope with or understand my clinical situation. For 20 years, they put 100% of their faith into the Seattle Children’s Medical Team to give me the opportunity to lead a quality life. The work that the team does in that institution has a lifelong impact to its patients and families.
There are nearly 7,000 children born each year with cleft. Like me, they benefit from interdisciplinary care provided by cleft and craniofacial teams. My story, I’m sure, is similar to many other patients. Parents of all these children put their trust in teams for their child’s complete adolescent life. Here I am, 20 years and 22 surgeries later, a University of Washington graduate, mother, wife, and successful HR professional doing what I can to make a significant impact in the cleft and craniofacial community.`