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A Face For Me


FACES: The National Craniofacial Association

FACES: The National Craniofacial Association
FACES assists 75 to 135 families each year with travel away from home to specialized craniofacial medical centers for life-changing surgeries. In many cases, this is a lifelong journey for these families, as a child born with a severe craniofacial disorder often requires surgeries until young adulthood before their face and skull is completely rebuilt.

In addition to travel expenses and financial and moral support for surgery, FACES has helped over 25,000 individuals across the country with support networks, information and educational programs in the community.

Face Eqaulity International

FACES is proud to be a founding member of Face Equality International... Creating a world where everyone is treated fairly whatever their face looks like.


50 Years of FACES is Sponsored By:

Erlanger HealthBig 95.3Easy 106.9The Patten GroupRegal MoviesThe Print ShopGregory Cook PhotographyEagle Liquor and Wine

FACES Supporters:

Signal Energy

Chattanooga Allergy Clinic

Food Works

Marriott Courtyard

Webb Family Orthodontics

Pins & Needles
Quilt Shop












It all started when a little girl from Chattanooga, Tennessee was born "without a face."

FACES: The National Craniofacial Association began in 1969 as the Debbie Fox Foundation. Debbie, a young girl from the Chattanooga, Tennessee area, was born with a gaping hole where her face should have been (a facial cleft). At the time, Dr. Milton Edgerton, who practiced at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Medical Center, agreed to try to build a face for Debbie, and the foundation was established to help pay for her travel expenses.

Ultimately Debbie underwent 58 surgeries before her 22nd birthday and even co-wrote a book called A Face For Me (See Debbie Fox History below). National publicity about her struggle and recognition of Dr. Edgerton’s unique talents brought requests for help from parents with children in similar situations. With a grant from The Hearst Foundation and other donations from the Chattanooga area, the Foundation began to help other children travel to Baltimore and new craniofacial centers as they were established.

In 1985, the Board of Directors changed the name of the organization to The National Association for the Craniofacially Handicapped, to reflect its expanding services and national client base. The nickname “FACES” was adopted at the same time. In April of 1997, FACES became FACES: The National Craniofacial Association.

Today FACES is a vital link in the facially different community. Forty years ago, a child born with a severe craniofacial difference was destined to be not only disfigured forever, but was also assumed to be totally mentally incapacitated. Most of these children were institutionalized for life. Today, a child born with a craniofacial birth defect can be diagnosed in the womb or days after birth. Physicians now know that having a craniofacial difference rarely results in any type of brain damage. They also know that corrective surgery can, in many cases, begin as early as three months, thus one of the first calls made by the parents of many of these children is to FACES.

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