Through the generosity of a grant provided by the “Women for Riley”, many hearts of parents who have had an infant born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate have been touched. A baby born with a cleft will most likely have feeding difficulties at birth due to the inability to suck and successfully express milk from a regular nipple and bottle. Many times a special feeding system is required such as the Special Needs (Haberman) bottle or Pigeon nipple which is very costly to the family. Families at Riley have been so grateful to receive these special feeding devices donated by the “Women for Riley”. One mother stated “I appreciate 100% that the “Women for Riley” helped me by purchasing this bottle that I otherwise would not have been able to afford. It has really helped my baby.”
Another costly item provided by the “Women for Riley” is DynaCleft tape which is a new form of pre-surgical molding therapy that approximates the lip segments into better alignment for surgery. This tape is usually not covered by third party payers and is very expensive for families. Due to the high medical cost of having a child with a cleft, receiving DynaCleft tape at no cost has also been very appreciated by the families. The benefits of DynaCleft taping have recently been documented in the Cleft Palate – Craniofacial Journal, a scientific publication by the American Cleft Palate Association, in 2012.
The “Women for Riley” is a philanthropic group within the Riley Children’s Foundation who provides grants up to $5,000 for specific projects which will enhance the lives of the children and families at Riley. To date, the Cleft and Craniofacial clinic at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health has been able to provide 24 Haberman feeders, 9 Pigeon nipples, and 115 packets of DynaCleft tape to families at no cost. On behalf of the families, the Cleft and Craniofacial Team would like to say thank you to the “Women for Riley” for their commitment to children who have been born with a craniofacial anomaly.