31 responses

  1. Kaye
    February 20, 2016

    Yet another reason to admire you, Talon!

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      February 21, 2016

      Thank you!

      Reply

  2. Ian Ord – Where Sidewalks End
    March 8, 2013

    This is an incredible story – both in the message, the self discoveries, (and your wonderful writing style). You certainly delved deep into the human condition of vanity – and how we can get consumed by little things, when there’s certainly people who have it much harder than ourselves. I’ve always been self conscious about my size too – I’m very skinny and have had that ‘pointed out to me’ most of my life. “Gee thanks, I didn’t realize!?”.

    These children must have experienced torment unlike anything we could ever begin to imagine, and you’ve taken part in a journey of healing for them which will 100% change their lives and how they see themselves… literally. Thanks for sharing, and thank you for helping in this Talon!

    ps. I’ve met you in person, and you’re a handsome guy with nothing to worry about! Buddha belly and all πŸ™‚

    Reply

  3. Freya
    February 25, 2013

    What a beautiful touching story. It will be indeed live changing for those children to have the surgery.
    I do not like my photo taken either but will for sure reconsider after reading this wonderful story.

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 25, 2013

      It truly is. For the children with a cleft palate, it’s an important surgery to reduce the risk of infections, aid in speech, and to help with nutrition. But for the kids with a cleft lip, it makes life almost unbearable for them.

      Reply

  4. Rich
    February 23, 2013

    Thanks. It sometimes is nice to put our “problems” into perspective. I allow pictures of myself with my son but cringe at many of them. But I have been looking at it as memory shots for my son. That is how he knows me, big belly and all. So why not have a record? Ian, the one in the story (my son is a 14yo. Ian also), will probably, hopefully, look back and be grateful of the pictures of of his past. Looks like more than one person was improved at this surgery. Ian, Talon and many that read this blog. Again, Thanks.

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 23, 2013

      It’s definitely one of those situations where everyone involved was touched some how.

      Reply

  5. Kirsty
    February 23, 2013

    what a lovely post. Not sure what else I can say, but it’s making me think a whole lot. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 23, 2013

      Getting people thinking is always a great compliment. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  6. Carly
    February 22, 2013

    Hi Talon, what a fantastic story and what a result for Ian and for all the kids who have had the opportunity to have had the surgery…life changing like you said.

    Carly

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 22, 2013

      Thank you, Carly. It was amazing to hear their stories. And to see those smiles as they looked in the mirror to see their new face was too incredible for words.

      Reply

  7. Mary
    February 22, 2013

    Great article Talon! I will seriously think twice about avoiding pics in the futrure. You have led such an amazing life, thank you for sharing not only your present but your past with us!

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 22, 2013

      Thank you, Mary! I have had a very rough life, but it’s also been quite fabulous. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  8. ANGLO/Dale
    February 22, 2013

    I gained a nephew this year with a cleft palette & lost him again two days later, so seeing these pictures & reading your words really struck home.

    I applaud your thoughts on having your photo taken & wish many people thought the same, also, I can’t thank you enough for writing this.

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 22, 2013

      Oh my! I’m so sorry! What a hard thing to experience.

      Reply

  9. Living Outside of the Box
    February 21, 2013

    Beautiful post, Talon. It is hard and so important that we put things into perspective at times. We are very privileged, and no matter how imperfect we (or our lives) are, we are still very very blessed.

    What an amazing experience this must have been. One of my dear friends has been going on countless missions with Operation Smile for years and years (she herself was born with a cleft lip and it took her a LONG time to even be willing to face a child with a cleft lip–it was too personal and too tragic for her to face. When she finally did, she realized she had to have a greater purpose). Anyhow–it has made her into an incredible person, and I envy her ability to travel the world and provide a great service to so many people who desperately need it (not just for societal segregation reasons, but also for health and nutrition, as well)! That is an amazing surgeon’s job above–well done. Life changed. Good has been done.

    And thanks for sharing your insights along the way πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 22, 2013

      The surgeon did an amazing job. That was one of the other very impressive things for me. I spent 1-2 days in the OR documenting the surgeries, and I was so impressed with the high quality. One of the docs is a plastic surgeon, and he says he does the missions to remind himself why he got into medicine (he gets a LOT of breast augmentation and facelift patients in the States). You could always tell which patients he worked on because it was like art. Even though these guys are paying to be there and working long hours, each patient gets such great care.

      This last mission (2013), they were in a very rural hospital. They heard a pregnant woman was in danger of losing her life, as well as the baby, and they had them bring her in. They were able to save both lives. After working with so many jerks in the medical field, it’s nice to see the other side. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  10. Melanie Murrish
    February 21, 2013

    The small amount of travel I have done has changed me, but not as much as you and other bloggers have with you heartfelt writing! Funnily enough, this is one of the first times I haven’t cried at your post, it made me really happy; for the children, and for you and Tigger! By the way you are gorgeous, and I am starting to realise I am too. Thanks once again.xx

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 22, 2013

      I’m glad to see you’re realizing your own beauty! It’s so important.

      Reply

  11. Suitcase Stories – Nicole
    February 21, 2013

    This beautiful piece bought me to tears. I am actually speechless and that doesn’t happen very often. Any man with a heart so generous and a soul so deep does not need to be afraid of his own reflection. The beauty from within always glows outwards.

    Thank you for sharing this and bringing it to everyones attention.

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 22, 2013

      Thanks, Nicole!

      Reply

  12. Patti
    February 21, 2013

    We just watched segment on 60 minutes about the Mercy Ships and the work they do. Amazing stories!

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 22, 2013

      There are some absolutely amazing organizations out there doing tremendous good. It’s refreshing to see.

      Reply

  13. Claudina
    February 21, 2013

    Such a beautiful article and a life changing experience as well.

    Thank you for posting this!

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 22, 2013

      Thanks, Claudina! It was definitely a powerful experience.

      Reply

  14. Suzanne
    February 20, 2013

    Tears can be so healing as they roll down our cheeks. You are one very special human, Talon…very
    very special

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 22, 2013

      Thanks, Suzanne

      Reply

  15. Barbara Weibel
    February 20, 2013

    Talon, this article, so heartfelt and painfully honest, made me cry. That’s great writing! Now I want to do this. Can I? Are they looking for other bloggers to write about the marvelous work this organization does? And as an aside, I am also not a big fan of having my photo taken but in my case, it’s the wrinkles I don’t like to see. Your story had such a profound impact on me that I doubt I’ll ever think of having my photo taken in quite the same way again.

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 20, 2013

      Thank you, Barbara. They just completed their mission for this year, but I know they’re always looking for people to help. They usually announce the next year’s mission around the summertime. One of the beautiful things about it as they need outreach people which requires no medical background or skill. Sometimes you’re just helping families in the preop/postop waiting room, other groups go out into the community and look for former patients to check in on them and to see if any new siblings have needs, etc. There’s so much that needs to be done, and it’s an absolutely amazing thing to experience.

      And thank you for the compliment on the writing! Means a lot to me. So happy to hear that you were impacted by me sharing my story as well.

      Reply

  16. Cate Smith-Brubaker
    February 20, 2013

    Ian is beautiful… and so are you.

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 20, 2013

      Thank you! Seeing his photo from a week after his surgery with him wearing a big smile was absolutely priceless.

      Reply

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