Iris before cleft lip surgery
Iris before cleft lip surgery. Photo: Jorgen Hildebrandt

Corporate partner Align Technology recently raised over £30,000 for Operation Smile thanks to the efforts of their UK and Ireland cycling team. That’s enough to provide life-changing surgery for 240 children with cleft lip and cleft palate.  

The fundraiser was achieved by a small convoy of motivated Align team members cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats. A road trip of 928 miles which took place over 10 days.  The team of cyclists made daily pit stops at Invisalign practices en route. As well as dropping in on the British Orthodontic Society Congress in Manchester. Dr Sandeep Kumar and specialist orthodontists Dr Chris Buchanan and Dr Peter McCullum also joined them for parts of the ride.

According to team lead Dan Parsons, Align Technology marketing director UKI: “The Invisalign practices we visited en-route every day were unbelievably welcoming, fuelled us with food and drinks, and one of the clinics also held a raffle and raised additional funds to add to the event total.

Their support and enthusiasm for what we were trying to achieve provided a welcome boost every day and definitely spurred us on. We cannot thank them enough for their sustenance and TLC.

Dan Parsons, Align Technology Marketing Director
Iris after the surgery to repair her cleft lip. Photo: Jorgen Hildebrandt
Iris after the surgery to repair her cleft lip. Photo: Jorgen Hildebrandt

David Henry, senior partnerships manager for Operation Smile commented: “Congratulations to the whole Align cycling team for this amazing achievement. The money you raised will have a life changing impact around the world. And we can’t thank you enough for undertaking this epic ride to help Operation Smile further our work.

Align Technology’s support has transformed the lives and smiles of patients like Iris, an 11-year-old from Nicaragua who was born with a cleft lip and palate. Iris was used to living life in the shadows and hiding her face, until she travelled to Operation Smile Cleft Centre in Managua for life changing surgery.