The Newsletter of
The Little Baby Face Foundation
Volume 7, No.1
LBFF Helps Raise Children’s Self-Esteem
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The Wykagyl Country Club
New Rochelle, New York
Labentina Zeka was born with unilateral microtia
and a mandibular deformity. From March 2010
to June 2012, Labentina (“Tina” for short)
underwent multiple surgeries for microtia and
received a chin implant - the results of which
have transformed her life and self-image forever.
Tina, who was born and raised in Kosovo, is
entering the 12th grade in the fall. This time,
she is actually looking forward to going back to
school. In a thank-you note to LBFF, she writes,
“When I was little I always thought that my ear
would be like that forever, but now I understand
that I was wrong. Because of The Little Baby Face
Foundation, now I am feeling like other kids. I
am so happy that my dream came true and now
I can realize a lot of other dreams. Thank you for
everything you have done for me. I hope you will
always make kids’ dreams come true.”
Jacob Opheim is an eleven-year old boy who
has suffered from bullying for his entire life.
Jacob was born with strabismus, or crossedeyes. He has been home-schooled by his
mother, because the taunts from his peers
in a normal school environment became
insufferable. The youngest of three sons of
single mother Charissa, Jacob was unable to
receive medical treatment for his condition due
to lack of medical insurance. Thanks to The Little
Baby Face Foundation, the struggle is over. In
June, Jacob received eye-muscle surgery that
corrected his strabismus. This bright and lovable
child is looking forward to living a normal life.
The LBFF’s Fifth Annual Golf Outing will be held
on August 6, 2013, at the Wykagyl Country
Club in New Rochelle, New York. This fundraiser
provides the means to cover medical and travel
expenses for Little Baby Face children when they
receive surgery. LBFF Advisory Board members
and event organizers Drs. Richard Elias, William
Louie, and Theodore Diktaban are planning yet
another compelling experience for attendees:
a sumptuous buffet; cocktails; prize-winning
raffle drawings; awards presentations; and an
opportunity for all to enjoy the company of fellow
golfers, guests, and volunteers at the historic
Wykagyl Country Club. For further details or to
register, go to www.littlebabyface.org.
The Little Baby Face Foundation was featured
in May’s issue of OR Nurse 2013, a bimonthly
journal distributed throughout the medical
community across the U.S. The article, titled,
“Little Baby Face Foundation offers hope for
kids with facial deformities,” highlights the
Foundation’s unrelenting work to improve
the lives of the children it serves, and points
out the crucial role of nurses in achieving
its ultimate goals. “Nurses are invaluable,”
says Dr. Thomas Romo, LBFF president and
founder. “They’re the primary personnel
who interface with patients and parents at
the hospital. They know the importance of
support and sensitivity.” Since 2002, the LBFF
has provided free operations to 500 children
whose problems ranged from mild-to-severe deformities, including hemifacial
microsomia, microtia, and facial paralysis. “I am deeply impressed with how the
foundation has grown,” says Virginia Carboni, RN at Lenox Hill Hospital. “Being
part of Dr. Romo’s team makes me want to be the very best nurse I can be.”
Board of Directors
Member, Co-Founder & President
Thomas Romo III, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Member & Co-Founder
Lauralouise Duffy-Blatt
Member & Vice President
James W. Gerard
Member & Treasurer
Lawrence E. May
Member & Pro Bono Counsel
Barbara Klippert
Member & Secretary
Don P. Moriarty, Jr.
Patricia HC Ardigo
Alan Mattone
Medical Advisory Board
Nick Bastidas, M.D.
Jennifer M. Capla, M.D.
Constance Marian Chen, M.D., M.P.H.
Joseph A. Ciccio, Jr., D.D.S.
Ruben Cohen, D.D.S.
Emanuela F. Corielli, D.D.S.
Peter D. Costantino, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Linda D. Dahl, M.D.
Theodore Diktaban, M.D.
Richard L. Elias, D.M.D., M.D.
John Wai Shun Ho, M.D.
David Hoffman, D.D.S.
Len Horovitz, M.D.
Bruce E. Katz, M.D.
Darius Kohan, M.D.
Oren Z. Lerman, M.D.
Louise Levy, M.S. CCC-A
Joseph C. Licata, M.D.
Boaz J. Lissauer, M.D.
William Louie, M.D.
John Lupovici, D.D.S.
Homere Al Moutran, Jr., M.D.
Sheldon Opperman, M.D.
Joseph D. Osipow,D.D.S., P.C.
Steven J. Pearlman, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Deborah Pilla, D.D.S.
Samieh S. Rizk, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Thomas Romo III, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Peter A. Rosa, D.D.S., M.D.
Robert Rosen, M.D.
David Rosenberg, M.D.
M. Zakir Sabry, M.D., P.C.
Adam D. Schaffner, M.D., F.A.C.S.
David Michael Shafer, M.D.
David Slavit, M.D.
Mark Steele, M.D.
Fredrick A. Valauri, M.D.
David Volpi, M.D.
Milton Waner, M.D., F.A.C.S
This year, under the auspices of the Common Cents Penny Harvest (www.
commoncents.org), the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders from PS6 in New York raised
$1,250 for The Little Baby Face Foundation – the charity of their choice. Diane
Romo visited the school in June to thank the children personally for their
generosity. She also conducted a Q&A session to help these elementary school
students better understand the afflictions of The Little Baby Face patients they
are helping.
The Common Cents Penny Harvest originated and grew from one child’s
desire to feed the homeless. Since 1991, children between the ages of four
and 14 have been converting their natural compassion for others into action
by collecting pennies and turning those pennies into grants for community
organizations. PS6 students were thrilled to find a charity organization right in
their own backyard, so to speak, to help their less-fortunate peers.
135 East 74th Street
New York, NY 10021
Tel 212.333.5233
Fax 212.265.7525
[email protected]
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
Little Baby Face Foundation • Summer 2013 • Volume 7, No.1
Ptosis is the medical term for drooping of the upper eyelid,
a condition that may affect one or both eyes. Ptosis that is
present since birth is called congenital ptosis. The ptosis may
be mild - in which the lid partially covers the pupil; or severe
- in which the lid completely covers the pupil.
Children with significant ptosis may need to tilt their chin
up to “peek” under their droopy eyelids, or raise their
eyebrows in an effort to see from under their drooping
While the cause of congenital ptosis is often unclear, the
most common reason is improper development of the
muscle that lifts the upper eyelid (the levator muscle). The
muscle can have varying degrees of function, and ultimately
determines the procedure involved in repairing the ptosis.
Children with congenital ptosis do not usually complain of
symptoms. However, congenital ptosis may be associated
with other conditions such as a lazy or wandering eye
(strabismus), or poor vision (ambylopia), which again usually
do not cause children to complain. Congenital ptosis may
also have cosmetic implications as a child approaches school
age. A child with ptosis should be evaluated by a pediatric
ophthalmologist for these possible associated conditions.
Congenital ptosis is corrected surgically by an oculofacial
plastic surgeon. Different surgical techniques are used
based on the severity of the drooping lid, degree of muscle
function, and whether the ptosis is on one side or both sides.
In severe cases of congenital ptosis, a child may require two
or three procedures to obtain a proper functional result. If
the ptosis is not severe, surgery is generally performed when
the child is between 3 and 5 years of age (the “pre-school”
years). However, when the ptosis interferes with the child’s
vision, surgery is performed at an earlier age to allow proper
visual development.
Boaz J. Lissauer, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeon, a fellow
of the American Board of Ophthalmology, a fellow of the American Society of Ophthalmic
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and a member of the Medical Advisory Board for The Little
Baby Face Foundation. Through this foundation he performs multi-disciplinary surgery on
children from all over the world who have congenital birth defects.
Dr. Lissauer specializes in reconstructive eyelid surgery, orbital surgery, surgery for tearing, and skin
tumor removal of the face and eyelids for both adults and children. Dr. Lissauer also performs cosmetic
procedures including cosmetic eyelid surgery, brow lift surgery, and mid-face or cheek lift surgery.
After completing training at The Manhattan Eye, Ear, & Throat Hospital and The New York
Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dr. Lissauer continues to be an active teacher and is an Assistant
Clinical Professor at The NYU School of Medicine, where he instructs residents and fellows from the departments of
ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and dermatology. Dr. Lissauer lectures throughout New York on both
topics of reconstructive and cosmetic surgery and has authored articles and book chapters on the subject.
Little Baby Face Foundation • Summer 2013 • Volume 7, No.1
Renata Fox was born with a deviated septum, which made
it difficult for her to breathe through her nose, as well as a
mandibular deformity. Through the LBFF, Renata was able to
have free nasal and mandibular reconstruction. In a thankyou letter, she writes, “Ever since I had this surgery my life
has been so much better. I just feel like the luckiest girl right
now. Before any of this happened, I never really talked to
anyone and all I did was sit in the house. Since I’ve been
home from New York I’ve regained all of my confidence and
self esteem! I actually ordered my own food when my mom
and I went out to eat. I know it doesn’t sound like much,
but for the longest time, I wasn’t able to look anyone in the
eye or talk to them. I can actually have a conversation with
someone now without being so quiet and shy. It’s funny
how a surgery can change so much in a person’s life. I’m
just so happy right now because I never thought this day
would come. None of this would have been possible for me
without the kindness and help of Dr. Romo, and the Little
Baby Face Foundation. You are all are amazing people and I
will always remember how much you’ve helped me.”
Allyson’s mother wrote to The Little Baby Face Foundation,
thanking them for the free surgery her daughter received to
correct a unilateral auricular deformity.
“I can’t put into words how thankful we are to the Little
Baby Face Foundation for helping Allyson! Allyson returned
to school yesterday with such a glow and confidence she
hasn’t had before. I thank you for the time I was able to
spend with Allyson there in New York, time we would
have never been able to have had alone together. I am
excited to see where Allyson’s new found confidence will
take her. Allyson has already been talking about a new
fundraiser to share her story about LBFF and how to help
the next child.”
Donate Online
Donate by Mail
Make checks payable to:
The Little Baby Face Foundation
88 Froehlich Farm Blvd. #206
Woodbury, NY 11797
Donate by Phone
Call us at (212) 333-5233
eBay Giving Works
Selling items on eBay? Donate a
portion or all of the selling price to
The Little Baby Face Foundation.
Donate Airline Points
You can donate unwanted points from airline reward
programs to us to help pay for flights for our patients.
Call us at (212) 333-5233 to find out how.
The mission of the Little Baby Face Foundation (LBFF) is to transform the lives and faces of children born with facial deformities through corrective surgery.
LBFF provides travel to and from New York City and covers all related costs so that these children can undergo needed corrective surgical procedures.
Little Baby Face Foundation • Summer 2013 • Volume 7, No.1