Exercise for a cause: Yoga Smiles

Millions of children in developing countries suffer from untreated clefts Team EMPOWER founded by Smile Train helps these children get the medical attention they need and deserve!. Most cannot eat or speak properly and aren’t allowed to attend school or hold a job. Smile Train is an international children’s charity that provides 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in 85+ developing countries.

This empowers local doctors to provide cleft care in their own communities, care they may not have received otherwise! Many people want to give back to worthy cause but don’t know where to begin, Team EMPOWER gives athletes all around the world the opportunity to make their race count toward providing this free cleft surgery. I am sure this helps participants to strive for every step, every lap, and every mile and eventually cross that finish line! Those that participate are helping to create new smiles, new beginnings, and the opportunity for children with a cleft to live full and productive life.

Not only is Team Empower changing the lives of these children but the participants as well! If you are not inspired to join the cause check out some of the inspirational stories below to discover how some of these athletes are making a difference in their own lives and these deserving children.

Ella Hassall
Ella is from the United Kingdom, as child she too was born with a cleft and wanted find a way to give back. She was inspired to run the Great North Run for Smile Train’s team after discovering Smile Train as a teenager. The more she educated herself about the cause the more she wanted to get involved! Joining Team EMPOWER was a great way to challenge herself and give back at the same time.

Chris Holley
10 years ago Chris was over 400 lbs and an alcoholic until he turned his life around by participating in triathlons and lost 180 lbs.

Ron Williams
Ron is a 77-year old-young Team EMPOWER athlete and finished his 39th consecutive Chicago Marathon while raising funds for Smile Train. In 1977, Ron ran in the very first Chicago Marathon, and he is one of only seven runners who has completed the race every year since.

For more information contact Kristina at teamempower@smiletrain.org

As a member of Team EMPOWER, athletes receive guaranteed race entry, a customized training plan and virtual webinars to get them race day ready. Athletes also have access to exclusive discounts and team-member only race weekend events and perks. Members of Team EMPOWER have the opportunity to race in sold-out IRONMAN and marathon races across the country and can even turn their own race entries into smiles with the ‘Any Race’ option.

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