Helping a Child Smile
Fred E. Angle can't count how many times he has read Mr. Anonymous, the story of William Volker, a local philanthropist who shaped the landscape of our community. Over the years, he has given numerous copies of the book to others in hopes that Volker's silent generosity will inspire them the way it has inspired him.
Raised the son of a Kansas City, Kansas, physician, Fred's father gave him insight into the world of pediatric medicine and the health care needs experienced by local families.
From 1944 to 1946, Fred served in the U.S. Marine Corp. He saw fellow soldiers return home from World War II scarred and injured. In an era before reconstructive surgery was commonplace, adults and children with facial disfigurement were often ostracized, discrimination that stands out in Fred's memory.
Before retirement, Fred was proprietor of automotive dealerships in the Northland. His business and community involvement led him to befriend Children's Mercy benefactor, Jerry Smith, who introduced him to the hospital. After hearing Children's Mercy physician Dr. Fred McCoy speak about advances in pediatric plastic surgery, Fred decided to create a restricted provision for craniofacial surgery in his trust, making him a member of the Children's Mercy Legacy Honor Roll.
Fred and his wife, Lillian, enjoy travel and collecting memories from adventures they have had around the globe. He is pleased life's path led him to Children's Mercy and is happy to have created a planned gift that will improve the quality of life for countless children—like Lexie Diskin—served by Children's Mercy.
"Your baby looks to have a cleft lip and palate." The words ran through Wendi Diskin's head as she lay on the sonogram table for a routine prenatal visit. The Diskins, who lived in Tulsa, Okla., began researching and soon were on the phone with the craniofacial and plastic surgery staff at Children's Mercy.
As it turned out, Lexie had bigger concerns. When she was born, not only did she have a cleft lip and palate, but she also had Goldenhar Syndrome and was missing her left ear, jaw and cheekbone. The entire left side of her face was small and underdeveloped. At 14 days of age, Lexie was transferred to Children's Mercy.
Lexie has undergone four major surgeries with Dr. Virender Singhal to reconstruct her face and is currently undergoing bilateral mandibular distraction to improve her sleep apnea and increase the symmetrical appearance of her mandible.
"When we got to Children's Mercy, they reassured us that everything was going to be just fine and that they see kids like Lexie all the time," Wendi says. "The care we've received from everyone at Children's Mercy has been outstanding."
If you would like to know more about Lexie's story, click here.
You Can Help
You can ensure that excellent health care is available for children like Lexie for years to come through a planned gift to Children's Mercy.