Fresh Start continues changing lives

COAST CITIES — Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, a Carlsbad-based nonprofit, held its first Surgery Weekend of 2013, on Jan. 12 and Jan. 13. Among the many children who received a fresh start at life that weekend was Kassy, a 3-year-old girl with a severe skin nevus.Kassy was born with an unsightly nevus, a type of chronic skin lesion that covers more than half of her little arm and continues to grow. Kassy’s family lived in fear that the nevus will soon completely cover her entire arm and hand, but more importantly that it could become malignant. After visiting the children’s hospital in their hometown of Tijuana, Kassy’s family was referred to the Fresh Start Clinic in San Diego for a thorough evaluation. After ensuring the nevus was benign, the Fresh Start medical team began assessing Kassy’s condition and treatment options in order to guarantee her health and a better quality of life. Kassy, will receive five to 10 major surgeries spanning the next two to five years to completely remove the growth. This weekend marked her third surgery.

“Often times these medical conditions can hinder a child’s physical and psychological development. At Fresh Start we want to help these children blossom and gain confidence and happiness,” said Michelle Pius, director of Major Gifts at Fresh Start. “Our main goal is to transform the lives of children and give them a fresh start at life, and that is what we look forward to doing every Surgery Weekend.”

The comprehensive Surgery Weekend healthcare program takes place six times per year and takes includes reconstructive surgeries, Laser Clinics, a Speech Therapy Clinic, Dental Clinics and many other services that transform the lives of Fresh Start’s young patients. These services are provided free of charge by the Fresh Start team of volunteers – made up of San Diego’s top medical and dental professionals and more – to families who otherwise could not afford these procedures or whose insurance will not cover the cost of reconstructive surgeries.

For more information about Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, visit or call (760) 944-7774.



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