Hi, my name is Claire and I was born with a bilateral cleft lip and alveolar cleft palate in Belfast in 1991. I have had three surgeries – two in infancy and an alveolar bone graft at age 9. Following an unsuccessful closure attempt at this time, my palate remains happily unrepaired and I opted out of further surgery on my lip as a teenager. Along the way I have had a lot of orthodontic and speech therapy input with great results. I attended CLAPA events as a child and in the past year have really enjoyed reconnecting with them as a volunteer. I am currently a trainee Speech and Language Therapist based in Edinburgh and I love it. Outside of this, I enjoy singing, painting, and playing musical instruments badly but with enthusiasm. I would love to hear from anyone who is seeking support as I have gone a slightly unconventional route by opting out of further surgeries, and I would love to support others to not let their cleft hold them back from anything, and to accept and love their face!