Doctors of KindnessSubmitted by Gail Brazeau
Both of my children receive regular care from University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. It is about 7 hours away from us in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They have been patients of Dr. Steve Kasten and the craniofacial team since birth due to cleft lip and palate. This year, my son's fifth grade class read the book Wonder, which is about a child with facial differences. I reached out to Dr. Kasten to see if he would be willing to record a video message or send an email to the class. I was hopeful that he would be willing to talk about the work he does with these children and what he has learned or wishes other children knew. Imagine my surprise when he said, "No. Actually, I would like to come to his class and take a more interactive approach." He and two other members of his team took a day out to come all the way to our little town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and talk to fifth graders about their jobs, the kids they work with, and choosing kindness. But wait, I want you to hear about our other hero. Dr. Steve Ouwinga is our orthodontist. He lives in our town but works closely with the team at U of M. When he found out they were making the trip all the way up here, he rescheduled a day of appointments to come and talk with the kids, too. Many times the world feels like people are only thinking of themselves. We hear about doctors being too busy to listen to patients. I wanted to share this story because these two men are examples of people going above and beyond the call of duty and for no other reason but to be kind.