Golf tournament supports Children's Cranial Facial Association
HORSEHEADS, N.Y. -- Jeremy Dale is an outgoing nine year old, full of life and love from his family. He is the oldest of three boys, with one difference.
"Jeremy was born with Goldenhar Syndrome, so essentially he didn't have bone on the left side of his face,” said Kristine Dale, Jeremy's Mother.
Goldenhar Syndrome is a condition where the lower half of one side of the face grows abnormally. The reason Jeremy has undergone countless reconstructive surgeries.
"Externally his differences look somewhat severe but we're fortunate that internally he doesn't have a lot of internal problems,” said George Dale, Jeremy's Dad.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Jeremy's path has taken him through over 20 surgeries, some to improve his facial structure, others to improve his health."
"He did have a tracheotomy for several years. He ran higher risk of infection, cold and pneumonia. They needed to be able to lengthen his jaw bone so they could remove his trachea which they did last year,” said Kristine Dale.
Jeremy still has more surgeries ahead of him. One of the reasons his parents started the Friends of Jeremy Golf Tournament four years ago.
It has raised more than $80,000 to help all kids affected. With all proceeds donated to the Children's Cranial Facial Association, the national organization that has supported the Dales and many others.
"They use that money to help families from a financial standpoint. When they're traveling to see qualified doctors across the country,” said Kristine.
They've also developed a website "Friends of Jeremy". There you'll find a note from young Jeremy that says "I might look a little different, but I'm a typical kid."
"With Jeremy it's the same as it would be for any family with a child, we go through times that are difficult and easy. We stick together and lean on one another,” said George Dale.
Doctors say it's hard to know exactly how many more surgeries Jeremy will need, because surgery is determined as he grows. Once he is an adult, the surgeries will be elective.
For more information on Jeremy's condition and how you can help visit FriendsofJeremy.com.