What Courage Means to Me

By Anissa Ibarra

Wednesday, Nov 30 2016


Courage is doing something to change the world’s perspective.

I always knew I was born different. Growing up, most people didn’t know what a cleft lip was, which made it difficult for me to make friends. I was bullied a lot at school.  Back then, I used to walk with my head down to hide my cleft. I never smiled.

But being bullied taught me how to persevere. I made it through the hard times with the support of my doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado. They encouraged me to attend a camp for kids with cleft lips and palates, where I made wonderful friends who inspired me to tell my story. I discovered that I wasn’t alone.

Since then, I’ve learned to accept myself. It took a lot of courage to step out of my comfort zone, but today, I walk with my head held high. I’ve even started speaking publicly about having a cleft. And I smile all the time!

Today, I want to help other kids with clefts learn to accept themselves for who they are. I don’t want anyone to let their disability hold them back. I want people to know that being different is something to be proud of.

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