I have Goldenhar Syndrome and hemifacial microsomia. As with so many people with a facial difference, surgeries were a routine part of my childhood. Early on, my parents were determined that my facial difference would not be an excuse nor a barrier for me to reach any goal I set for myself. As a child, I was a classic overachiever – high academics, involved with many extra-curriculars, and a wide social circle.
I was born just a couple of years before AboutFace’s founding in 1985 and the organization was a huge source of support, advocacy, and education for my family. In fact, I was the “poster girl” for AboutFace in the early nineties and today, my brother Hartley Lefton serves on the Board of Directors.
I moved from Toronto in 2007 and now live in Boston with my husband and two young daughters. I am a social worker, a blogger for a moms’ network and am active in our temple community. My number one priority is to bring up strong, confident girls who are kind, compassionate, and who see past appearance and image to what is beneath.
The Beyond My Face Campaign reflects my belief in turning a stare into an opportunity for a meaningful conversation – be it with adults or children. Often, parents are embarrassed when their children stare or ask questions. I welcome it. That’s how they learn. That’s how we all learn.
In today’s society, we are often told we are not enough and we try to project a perfect image. My facial difference does not meet that perfect image. And, that’s okay – it’s definitely a face you remember!
After spending much of my life overcompensating for my difference and aiming for perfection, the message I now give my clients, readers of my blog, my friends, and especially my daughters, is that trying to be perfect isn’t healthy – in fact, it’s toxic. Being good enough is absolutely good enough.
I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a social worker. I am a blogger. I am the CEO of my household. I am a friend.