Children's Hospital Colorado

Anissa: My Special Feature Is My Cleft Lip


Thank you so much for this awesome opportunity to share my story with other kids. Hope you like it!

Anissa, cleft lip patient at Children's Hospital Colorado, as a happy baby.

"My name is Anissa and I am 14 years old. My story begins in the year 2000, with my parents waiting anxiously for me for 9 months, not knowing I would be born with a special feature.

I was born with a cleft lip. My special feature has been the scariest but most fun moments in my life. After I was born, my parents were immediately sent to Children's Hospital Colorado for my care. The moment I arrived to the Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic they received me with open arms. I was introduced to Dr. Gregory Allen and Jamie Idelberg. They helped my parents understand my special feature and what steps to take to repair my lip.

The support from Children’s Colorado was phenomenal

Anissa at Children's Hospital Colorado's cleft camp.

My experience the last 14 years has been phenomenal because of the support of the wonderful staff, doctors and friends I have made through the years. One thing that has made it better to cope with a cleft lip was going to the cleft camps and the annual bowling parties.

The support team at my yearly Clinic visits helped me understand that I am special and very important. After my many surgeries and long stays for my parents and me at the hospital, I can say that my journey was easier with the support system that the cleft lip team provided. 

I want to help kids who have my special feature: a cleft lip

Anissa, cleft lip patient at Children's Hospital Colorado, at 14 years old.

Now that I have gone through this experience, it has inspired me to pursue a career in Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) to support and connect with other kids born with my very special feature. Children's Colorado is recognized as one of the best hospitals because of the staff’s love, sympathy and support for the children like me who go to their hospital. I look forward to one day becoming a part of the team.

Thank you to the cleft Lip and palate team for all the support and love that will forever be in my heart."

Learn about the Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic.