Blog By Donna

‘Marlie’s New Face: Four Years Later’

I first wrote about Marlie Casseus on August 4, 2008, after watching her story on TLC.  And today, I received an advanced copy of Marlie’s update that will air this Sunday night on TLC.  I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to watch Marlie’s New Face:  Four Years Later.  

Marlie, from Haiti, had her first surgery in 2005 when she was thirteen to remove the 16-pound tumor that had taken over her face.  She was near death when the Eugene sisters, twin nuns, helped find treatment for Marlie Casseus when the melon-size mass took away Marlie’s ability to speak, her sense of smell and nearly choked and blinded her. 

The International Kids Fund, the Eugene twins and Jackson Memorial Hospital surgeon, Dr. Jesus Gomez, helped Marlie, resume a more normal life.

Marlie suffered from Polyostotic Fibrous Dysplasia and since then has undergone seven surgeries.  She was in South Florida earlier this year to replace excess scar tissue and replace her facial implants.

Marlie’s latest update will inspire you.  Her spirit is amazing.  Marlie, now seventeen, is typical of many girls her age… she loves to shop and hopes to meet that special boy and get married someday.  Yet Marlie is different… very different than most 17-year olds.  Although she wishes to marry someday she wonders if any boy could ever love her face.

It was difficult to listen to her tell (through a translator) her story.  Several times as she spoke tears would fall down her face.  At times there was such sadness in her eyes – yet at others, such strength. 

She made me realize how silly it is to worry about such insignificant things.  How we’ll stress out over something as silly as a zit.  I mean, how horrible it is if we are seen out in public with a little pimple on our face.  See what I mean?  Trivial.

I’m confident that after you watch the latest update on Marlie Casseus, you too will be inspired by her courage.  You will also see the beauty in her face. 

In Marlie’s New Face you will see her latest surgery and how Dr. Gomez gives her face symmetry.  Marlie still has a long journey.  One that she hopes will bring her teeth – because the tumor caused her to lose hers. 

So I hope you watch the newest update – Marlie’s New Face:  Four Years Later. It premieres Sunday, September 13, 2009, at 9:00 p.m. EST on TLC (Comcast: channel 56, DirectTV: channel 280, DishNetwork: channel 183)

Thank you, Marlie, for sharing your story… for reminding me of what’s really important.  I will continue to follow your story.

International Kids Fund (IKF), a program of Jackson Memorial Foundation, seeks to facilitate access to life-saving or life-changing medical care for children in need. This includes international children who cannot be treated within their native country, as well as children living in the United States who, without IKF assistance, would otherwise have no options.  The fund ensures these children receive the best care possible at Holtz Children’s Hospital of the University Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, one of the nation’s premier teaching hospitals. For more information or to make a contribution, please visit www.internationalkidsfund.org or call 1-877-IKF-KIDS.

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