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Cary plastic surgeon using her trade to help children around the world

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After three trips to Kenya, Dr. Cynthia Gregg is now heading to South Sudan to correct cleft lips and palates. After three trips to Kenya, Dr. Cynthia Gregg is now heading to South Sudan to correct cleft lips and palates.
CARY, N.C. -

A Cary cosmetic surgeon today is using her skills to change the lives of children across the globe.

"In certain countries, when a child is born with this type of birth defect, they are considered cursed," Dr. Cynthia Gregg explained of children born with cleft lips and palates. "They can't go to school, they are often abandoned by one or both parents."

After three trips to Kenya, Gregg is now heading to South Sudan to correct cleft lips and palates in one of the poorest regions of the world.

"I was amazed when I got there and found out how far they come and the way they have to come," Gregg said of those who come to her to seek treatment. "They come by taxi, come by bus, come by walking."

Working with Samaritan's Purse, an international humanitarian group, Gregg said her visits to Kenya were eye opening. Lobbies were packed with desperate parents, and she expects the same in South Sudan.

The team of seven will operate on about 100 children in 6 days. Samaritan's Purse said it is chartering flights for some distant patients, giving them a whole new life with just an hour long surgery.

"We tend to not think about [how many children need help] in our country because we have access to such great health care," Gregg said.

Gregg said she operated on kids as young as 3 months and as old as 65 years in Kenya.

Melanie Sanders

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