Earlier this summer, a London-born motivational speaker and published writer gave a speech in Greece to raise awareness about adults and children living with facial differences.
Christian Hadjipateras, who was born in 1984 with severe craniofacial anomalies, spoke during the 2022 Aristotle Annual Medical Forum in Thessaloniki in July.
Hadjipateras underwent multiple reconstructive operations in the UK, US, France and Italy up until his mid-20s. In recent years he has made it his mission to be a voice for people living with facial differences, especially in places such as Greece.
“Greece still lags well behind other countries in terms of education, tolerance, acceptance and inclusion,” Hadjipateras told The Pappas Post via email. “It’s my firm determination, as someone born with facial differences, to do my bit in changing that.”
Hadjipateras’ loudest message, he said, is to emphasize the vital importance of acceptance, compassion and “never, ever suffering in silence.”
Prior to his speech came a lecture from Pericles Foroglou, a professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Aristotle University.
Foroglou shared his vision for a craniofacial center which could open in Thessaloniki in the near future. The proposed specialized center would focus on treating patients with cleft palettes and facial differences.
“The center will be the first national craniofacial differences referral center and a model unit to be established in a public healthcare structure in Greece,” Foroglou said.
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