(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)
Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO of LEAP Foundation DC, recently signed up to run for Smile Train Team EMPOWER (read more here: https://www.smiletrain.org/stories/team-empower-spotlight-dr-clayton-lawrence). The endurance athlete discovered that the benefits of marathon running not only had a positive effect on his own health, but served as an opportunity to address two of what he believes are the most pressing topics in our country: childhood obesity and disease prevention.
Through LEAP Foundation DC, Dr. Lawrence has been advocating for the health and wellness of community members, delivering services to individuals and families in need, supporting local organizations in their efforts to improve their community and providing a stage and voice for those who are overlooked and disregarded.
His recent collaboration with Smile Train was the perfect merger of Dr. Lawrence’s strongest beliefs and biggest passions. The organization is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. According to Smile Train, 1 in 700 babies are born with a cleft lip and/or palate globally and, although the surgery takes only 45 minutes and costs as little as $250, it is out of reach for many children. The organization is providing “a forever smile and second chance at life to a child living with an untreated cleft.”
Funds raised by Dr. Lawrence from the 2019 Berlin Marathon and those he will raise when he participates in the 2020 London Marathon on behalf of Smile Train will do more than just correct a child’s appearance. Here’s how your donation can help:
Cover the cost of an overnight hospital stay.
Allow a baby (and parent) to share a priceless milestone: smiling.
Make dental visits more likely.
Lead to educational success.
Offer a promising future.
Allow life-sustaining tasks like eating, breathing and speaking to be less difficult.
Result in better sleep.
Provide better hearing and less time dealing with middle ear problems, such as infections and hearing loss.
Financial security for families who spend their hard-earned money addressing medical complications associated with the condition.
Bring a child out of isolation and discover his or her potential.
To read more about Dr. Lawrence’s involvement, go here: https://www.smiletrain.org/stories/team-empower-spotlight-dr-clayton-lawrence. If you’re interested in making a donation, you can do so here: https://my.smiletrain.org/fundraiser/drclaytonlawrencelondonmarathon. Please note that donations in support of this fundraiser do not assist with travel or other costs to participate, but rather directly benefit the charity for which Dr. Clayton Lawrence is running.