Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft organization, today announced model Chanel Iman, known for her work as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, as their first-ever Smile Train Celebrity Ambassador solely focused on motherhood. As a young mother of two, Chanel’s goal is to advocate for and champion mothers across the globe, particularly mothers of children born with a cleft.
“Through time spent with the Smile Train team, I learned that the impact of cleft treatment on a child – and their family – is immediate,” said Chanel. “As a mom, my kids are everything to me, and I would do anything to protect them. That’s why I’m so honored to become an ambassador for Smile Train, to not only advocate for children living with cleft but also encourage the mothers who fearlessly fight for their children to receive treatment.”
Through her mother-focused ambassadorship, Chanel hopes to raise awareness of the unique challenges mothers face with cleft-affected children while simultaneously being a holistic voice for mothers around the world.
“We believe Chanel will be the perfect voice to captivate diverse audiences surrounding the journey a cleft mother embarks on,” said Nijha Diggs, Senior Director of Public Relations, Smile Train. “Like all mothers, cleft mothers are warriors. Most people think it takes one cleft surgery and the baby is completely healed. The harsh reality is that the initial surgery is only the beginning of the cleft journey. A cleft-affected baby needs extra attention for feeding, will undergo multiple surgeries, often miss many days of school, need extra emotional support and can require copious amounts of speech therapy. Additionally, oftentimes a child with a cleft will be bullied or misunderstood for their appearance. The commitment of a cleft mother is one of resilience, strength, and courage, and we could not be more thrilled to have Chanel on our team advocating for these amazing women.”
Smile Train’s sustainable model empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. For over 21 years, Smile Train has supported safe and quality cleft care for more than 1.5 million children and will continue to do so until every child in need with a cleft has access to the care they deserve.
To learn more about Smile Train’s global efforts and to make a donation, please visit smiletrain.org.
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