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Creating Smiles: Mr. & Mrs. Hendrik Leeman Family Fund

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Born in 1921 with a cleft lip and palate, Phoebe Leeman’s life was saved by a quick-thinking relative who fed her using a milk-soaked cloth, along with the swift action of her parents. They whisked her away to a major hospital, where she received the initial surgery that kept her alive. While she continued to grow and thrive, Phoebe’s early years were punctuated by multiple surgeries to address her medical and dental needs. Reflecting back on her life and exploring her options with attorney Erik Shuman of Gray Robinson and financial advisor Kevin Smith of Ameriprise, she realized she could help others who were born with the same medical challenges. Working with her two advisors and the Community Foundation, Mrs. Leeman established a Field of Interest Fund, which – now and forever – supports the surgical care and critical services for children born with cleft lip and palate in the U.S.

Since 2015, the Mr. and Mrs. Hendrik Leeman Fund has supported the work of Dr. Ramon Ruiz, a top craniomaxillofacial surgeon and his team, bringing best-in-class treatment to Brevard and Central Florida, saving lives, and bringing happy and confident smiles to children’s beautiful faces forever.

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