Matilda puts in the miles to give kids with clefts smiles

A CARING capital woman and her father hiked through some of the most beautifal areas of Itlay to help children born with a cleft lip or palate.

Tuesday, 13th November 2018, 5:00 am
Matilda Lansdown and her father Adam on their trek

Matilda Lansdown, 27, and 67-year-old Adam, recently embarked on a 34-mile trek through Verona, Vento and Lake Garda to raise awareness about the birth defect and money for the global children’s charity, Smile Train.

Smile Train provides medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally.

One in every 700 children around the world is born with a cleft lip and or palate which cause difficulties eating, hearing and speaking.

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Cleft happens when certain body parts and structures do not fuse together during development in the womb and can involve the lip and/or the roof of the mouth, which is made up of both hard and soft palate.

In developing countries, the vast majority of children with clefts will never receive the reconstructive surgery they need.

Reconstructive surgery for clefts has evolved over more than half a century, and today’s techniques and procedures have come a long way.

A child’s life can be changed forever for a donation to Smile Train of just £150 – the cost of a good night out with dinner for two.

The relatively simple procedure brings immediate results and never fails to prompt an outpouring of emotion as both the child and their parents see them smile for the first time.

Smile Train favours a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive.

Matilda, who is a full time make-up artist, was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. Her own personal experience of being born with the condition inspired her to embark on the trek, to raise money for those living with untreated clefts in countries around the world where they do not have immediate access to treatment.

She said: “Since being introduced to Smile Train I have felt inspired to make a change any way I can. I want to help improve the lives of every child born with a cleft – opening the door to opportunities that the confidence of a smile can bring.

“Spending time with my Dad and doing something out of the ordinary for me was the best part of the trip, with no glam!”

So far, Matilda has managed to raise £650 of her £1000 target, which can help fund treatment for several children under Smile Train’s care.

For anyone wishing to donate, Matilda’s Just Giving page is at

Smile Train is a nonprofit organisation and charity providing corrective surgery for children. Founded in 1999, it provides free corrective cleft surgery in 87 countries.