Gravel grey clouds loomed over Riverside Park, NY on Sunday, July 23, 2017. Drizzles of rain splattered on windows and streets, blotting out the warm sunshine. However, this bleak weather didn’t stop the hundreds of myFace supporters from completing their inspirational walk that weekend morning, in which laughter and happiness filled the air. myFace is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about facial deformities in children, as well as supports their families. According to the myFace website, “1 in 700 children is born with an oro-facial cleft and 1 in 1,600 is born with facial asymmetry, a missing ear, a jaw deformity, or a defect of the skull, nerves or facial bones in the U.S. alone.” Races of Faces walkers trekked two kilometers from 83rd Street at the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial, up to 101st Street, walking down on the waterfront and back to 83rd street.
Along with Seeds of Fortune, I had the opportunity of seeing firsthand the bravery and unity of the participants, who endeavored to bring awareness about the issue. I was inspired by the supporters, especially the children struggling with facial deformities. At a young age, these champions have exhibited outstanding courage, strength, and dedication to their cause. Witnessing these acts have made me realize the prejudice that individuals with facial deformities face, yet also demonstrated that people united by a common goal can make a difference. Races for Faces reinforces the idea of not judging people based on physical appearances, but instead encourages people to show compassion and understanding amongst one another. All individuals are unique and have feelings, a fact that should be respected by others. My experience at Races for Faces has had a profound effect on me, leaving me with a valuable lesson that I will carry with me wherever I go.