Teen with cleft palate charity has garage sale items stolen

HOWELL, Mich. (WJBK) -A Michigan teen born with a rare medical condition is trying to help others fighting the same battle.

But overnight, items intended for a charity garage sale David Deaton was planning, were stolen.

Born with a cleft palate and hearing impaired, David had his first surgery when he was only 3 months old.

"His last (surgery) he had a bone graft where they removed bone from his hip and built him a brand new palate," said Heather Deaton, his mother. "His next one they are going to try to repair his ear."

David now 13, knows the pain of surgery rehab. He told his mom he wanted to have a charity garage sale to raise awareness and help other children who are dealing with a cleft palate.

"I want to make baskets and send them to kids who are in need," he said. "Also, send them a letter that tells them it is not as bad they would think."

But then a very cruel blow -- someone stole items David intended for his charity garage sale. They even stole his 14 handmade signs explaining the sale.

"He was just looking so forward to doing it," Heather said. "We've had a lot of traffic coming in and out. It must have been someone who had been here before. I have a pretty long driveway so I don't know who would come and just take stuff."

They reported the theft to police. Still intending to help other children with a cleft palate David started a website: www.davidssmile.net and a bank fund.

"So David has a project, we eventually want to get a full 5013 started for him," Heather said. "Called 'Cleft Warriors.' He's already started mailing out different packages to other children to help them and talking to them.

"He has had several surgeries and has another one coming up he goes to Children's Mott and they're awesome.

"He has been through so much and I'm in the hospital a lot and he is the first one to take care of me when I come home."