Friday, September 23, 2011

Grave reminder of how both my son and I benefited from medical technology

A few years ago when we were on the March for Babies, we saw an animal rights group handing out fliers. They were boycotting the March of Dimes because of its use of medical tests involving animals. I'm on the fence on this one. I don't believe that animals should be used for testing of cosmetics or other household products, and I do not like to think of animals suffering for the purpose of medical advancements.

But.

Both Chris, who was born at 24 weeks gestation and very, very sick, and I, who was born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, and club foot, benefited tremendously from medical advancements. In Chris' case, he survived because of the recent development of artificial surfactant, among other medical advancements. If he had been born so early just a few years earlier, he would probably not have survived.

One only has to read the news or look at charities helping children with cleft lips and palates in developing countries such as ReSurge International, SmileTrain, Operation Smile...to realize that Chris and I were both fortunate to be born when and where we were. In China alone, more than 26,000 orphan boys and girls needing cleft lip and/or palate surgery have been abandoned to languish in an orphanage without hope of adoption.

Feeling very lucky indeed...and please don't blame me for not being a PETA advocate. Not only am I standing in the gray area, but also I don't like their tactics.

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