ABOUT OUR FOUNDERS
Jason and Monica Bush currently reside in Kokomo, Indiana. They met in 2003 and got married in 2005. Four years later, they started a family and have two sons and a daughter. Their middle son, Henry, was born in 2012 and during an anatomy scan at 19 weeks, they learned he would have a cleft lip and a potential cleft palate. This threw them for a loop since they knew no one with a cleft and had no family history of it on either side of the family. This new information prompted many appointments with maternal fetal medicine, the cleft team at Riley Hospital for Children, and their OBGYN. Henry was born via c-section and had no birthing complications. He was born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and cleft palate and came out of the womb hungry!
Jason and Monica had to learn how to feed Henry with a speciality bottle called a haberman since he couldn't suck. They saw the cleft team five days after he was born and at that appointment, Henry was evaluated by many professionals. They started pre-surgical measures to help with feeding and bring in the tissue of his lip for his very first surgery in the next few months.
Henry has been through a lot in his life up to this point. He has gone through early intervention services and been in many different types of therapies including speech, physical therapy, developmental therapy, and occupational therapy. After he graduated out of First Steps at age three, he transitioned into doing speech therapy with the elementary school in our district twice a week. Henry was enrolled in 3 years of preschool before he entered kindergarten so he could put his best foot forward. He continues to be on maintainence for speech.
Monica has a degree in social work from Indiana Wesleyan University and realized very quickly she'd be best advocate for her son. In doing so, she appreciated the significance to paying it forward to help others on the cleft journey. She is the sole admin of a virtual support group on Facebook for cleft families in the state of Indiana and has been helping families since Henry was born. She is now the Executive Director of Legendary Smiles and looks forward to reaching more families on a much larger scale.