The Michigan Cleft Network (MiCleft) has been in operation since January 2006. The 501(c)(3) public charity serves more than 250 Michigan families, bridging the gap between families and the specialized surgical teams that serve them. The network was founded by President Teresa Croughen, registered nurse, whose son Johnny, was born with multiple clefts and other health conditions. She is confident that MiCleft differs from other formal and informal organizations, and states “We are a statewide network that offers one-on-one support and community resources that other organizations just can’t,” Croughen said. She recognized the great need for structured support in Michigan and its surrounding states, and strives to bring about education and public awareness of congenital facial differences. There are multiple types of craniofacial anomalies and MiCleft is the only organization in Michigan that truly understands. Croughen hopes to one day end common misconception that individuals can live a “normal” life with one or two “cosmetic repairs.” In fact, her 6-year-old son has already had nine major surgical procedures and will undergo several more before reaching adulthood. Through MiCleft, families are given opportunities for both on- and off-line relationships, and the resources they need to not only better understand their child’s condition, but to assist them in receiving the most comprehensive surgical care possible. For more information on MiCleft please go to www.micleft.org or call 313-590-6000.