Kids arrived one-by-one, ready for a fun-filled day at the Wonderkids Workshop on Wednesday, July 10, to celebrate Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month.
“This is the second annual Wonderkids Workshop that I have organized in honor of Cleft-Craniofacial Awareness Month in July. We realize that many kids have never seen another child with a craniofacial difference, and we thought this one-day workshop on our campus is a perfect time to get them together,” said Leanne Doringo, MSN, RN, and clinical care coordinator with the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial team at UT Physicians.
The team facilitated this event in collaboration with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, McGovern Medical School’s Office of Diversity and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Participants had a busy day of activities, both fun and educational. They had the opportunity to tour a pediatric ambulance, view an anatomy lab, participate in interactive games, and talk with medical specialists.
Christian and Maiya have been attending events like this one for a couple years now and became friends at a craniofacial summer camp.
“I really like things like this because you get to meet your true friends,” said Maiya.
Christian, the oldest attendee at the event, says he thinks of himself as a mentor to the younger kids. “I try to make sure no one feels left out. I go around and talk to everyone.”
“These workshops have a positive impact on their attitude, provide the ability to cope with social struggles, and influence them in such a way that they can relate to others. I’ve noticed that each time these kids come back for more events, their friendships have become stronger. Some of them even ask their parents to hang out and exchange phone numbers – this tells me that these events are a great accomplishment,” said Doringo.