Smile Ambassadors Brooke Burke Charvet and David Charvet, along with two of their children, Rain and Neriah volunteered with Operation Smile during the organization’s recent medical mission in Guadalajara, Mexico.
During the medical mission, the family met with children suffering from cleft lips and cleft palates, whose parents were too poor to help them receive the surgery they so desperately needed.
During Operation Smile’s medical mission in Mexico, Brooke, David, Neriah and Rain were immersed in the medical mission process. They waited and played with children who were being prepared for surgery. Brooke and David donned scrubs to witness surgeries in the operating room, and shared the moment with the children and their families when they viewed their new smiles for the first time.
After witnessing the transformations of the children, Brooke shared, “I watched a miracle today… I felt the power of selflessness in the presence of the Operation Smile team. You cannot imagine what community service is like until you live it, but it changed my life forever and opened my heart in a whole new way. I feel a moral obligation to give back and do something important, but I had no idea how much I would get back from the experience.”
Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft. One in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. The international children’s medical charity works in more than 60 countries to provide free surgeries for children born with facial deformities, builds medical infrastructure in developing countries, and trains local doctors so they are empowered to treat their own populations. To increase awareness about the urgency of the problem, Operation Smile launched a global campaign entitled change forever featured on www.operationsmile.org/30.
Burke is a successful host, actress and entrepreneur. She is the co-host of ABC’s hit TV show Dancing With The Stars after winning season seven with her professional dance partner Derek Hough. Burke is founder of Baboosh Baby and the co-CEO of ModernMom.com, an online community for “the woman behind the mom.” Burke made her debut as an author when her first book, “The Naked Mom,” was published in 2011.
David built his international fan base through his previous roles on the hit drama series, “Baywatch” and “Melrose Place.” Charvet then morphed from pop-culture heartthrob to major pop star, scoring runaway hits in both English and French on three albums released by the Universal Music Group. He has sold over 2.5 million albums to date, with four singles breaking onto the Top 10 charts. Recently, Charvet starred in the action-adventure feature film “Prisoners of the Sun,” where he was directed by Academy Award-winner Roger Christian.
During the medical mission in Mexico, Brooke and David were particularly affected by an 11-month-old boy named Angel. His mother was eight months pregnant. Angel’s parents had brought him to another medical mission when he was only three months old but he was not strong enough for surgery. His parents returned to Operation Smile to give Angel another chance. When Angel was selected for surgery, Angel’s mother handed him to David to be brought to the surgical team. Brooke and David stayed with Angel in the operating room and after surgery, the doctor handed Angel to Brooke who carried him to recovery. The entire family was there as Angel was reunited with his parents.
With the help of medical volunteers from over 80 countries and generous supporters who share a vision to save children’s lives, Operation Smile has provided more than 3.5 million healthcare evaluations, and over 200,000 free reconstructive surgeries worldwide. With as little as $240 dollars, a surgery that can take as few as 45 minutes can transform the life of a child forever.
For more information Operation Smile’s global efforts, please visit www.operationsmile.org. Supporters can follow Operation Smile on Twitter @operationsmile and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/operationsmile.