​In the late 1960's, FACES: The National Craniofacial Association began as the Debbie Fox Foundation. Debbie, a young girl from Soddy Daisy, TN, was born in 1955 with a facial cleft.
Debbie saw many doctors and surgeons, but in 1969 Dr. Milton Edgerton, a surgeon at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Medical Center, agreed to build a face for Debbie.
Debbie's teacher Madge Apple started the foundation to help pay for Debbie's travel expenses to Baltimore. In her memoir, Debbie said, "Much later, Mrs. Apple told me that she pushed me and drove me so hard because she knew, even then, that I had a future." Madge Apple proved the impact that a teacher could have in her student's life.
Debbie truly believed in her life's purpose: "Whatever path I choose, I know that God would want me to serve and give to others..."

The foundation created on Debbie's behalf grew, underwent a few name changes, and began to benefit children and adults from all over the United States. In 1997 the organization officially became FACES: The National Craniofacial Association.

Our Services

We are a non-profit organization serving children and adults throughout the United States with craniofacial differences.

There is never a charge for any our services. Our service goals address three distinct areas:

1.  Education:

Our organization would not exist without a teacher. Madge Apple not only taught Debbie, but educated many more individuals about craniofacial differences by creating the Debbie Fox Foundation.

Education is one of the most important services we offer. We believe storytelling is one of our best educational tools.

We use a variety of outlets to share craniofacial stories: our website, our blog, Face to Face, our social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Youtube, but are always looking for new ways to share our stories.


We also have an ever-growing national speaker bureau of clients, client's families, and volunteers who speak to groups about the challenges and needs of those with craniofacial differences. We also are available to speak to groups, schools, and other organizations, so reach out to us.


Futhermore, we provide up-to-date information about craniofacial differences, current research in the field, and craniofacial centers in the United States.  

Want to share your story? Contact us at sarah@faces-cranio.org.

2.  Empowerment:

"Novah-Lee does everything any other two year old does. She's naughty and happy. She sings and dances. Her favorite thing to do is steal people's hearts and run away with them. Literally everyone she has ever met, she made an impact on them. She's strong and brave. Shes truly special. Her cleft doesn't define her, it was only a hurtle."-Sara Tappan

Empowerment is a word we hear used a lot, but what does this actually mean?


According to the dictionary, empower is to give someone the authority or power to do something or the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights.

We believe it is our purpose to empower our craniofacial community. We do this by sharing stories and sharing everyday hero qualities.

We also feel we can empower each other by getting to know each other.  By connecting families, we give families opportunities to alleviate emotional isolation that is often felt by patients and family members. By sharing information and providing support, we help to build a framework in which clients and family members can cope.

3. Travel Expenses:

We provide financial assistance for expenses incurred while traveling  to a craniofacial center for reconstructive surgery and/or evaluation. This assistance is offered on the basis of financial and medical need and includes transportation, lodging, and food. Insurance and government medical assistance programs help to pay for surgeries, but rarely pay for travel expenses. We do not choose the physicians or medical centers for the clients; that choice is made entirely by the family. Once a client is approved, every attempt is made to continue aid for as long as it is needed. We also pay for one accompanying person for each trip.

In order to receive assistance, you must get an application to us two weeks prior to our board meetings. When  you are ready for an application please give us a call at 423-266-1632 or email us sarah@faces-cranio.org.

2018 FACES Board Meetings:

March 22, 2018 (Deadline for financial assistance: March 8th)


May 31, 2018 (Deadline for financial assistance: May 17th)


July 26, 2018 (Deadline for financial assistance: July 12th)


September 27, 2018 (Deadline for financial assistance: September 13th)


November 29, 2018 (Deadline for financial assistance: November 15th)


Want to know more about financial assistance? Contact our client relations manager at sarah@faces-cranio.org.

Our Staff

For the past 24 years, Lynne Mayfield has served as President of FACES. She served on the Board of Directors for eight years prior to accepting this position.  In addition to her duties as President, Lynne, a graduate of The University of Tennessee, has authored articles on Goldenhar syndrome, hemifacial microsomia, microtia, and Pierre Robin Sequence in Congenital Disorders Sourcebook, 2nd Edition.  Lynne is also a member of the American Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Association, a former Director of the Board for Certification in Clinical Anaplastology, and a Patient Advocate for the National Institutes of Health's Dental and Craniofacial Research Institute.

Sarah McCune is the new Director of Communications for the FACES’ team.   Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Birmingham-Southern College and a Masters in Theological Studies from the Pacific School of Religion.  In both academic settings Sarah found a love for storytelling and working with children in the community.


Right now she is working on a number of different projects for FACES.

Sarah is a creative and outgoing person. Her favorite part of working here is meeting new

people and helping tell their stories.


This organization and people involved with it are AMAZING! They helped us so much not only financially but always so kind and caring. They really cared about our daughter Bailie. The burden of wondering how we were going to pay for another trip out of town was lifted because of them! They were definitely a gift from God for us!

Traci Brisendine-Hinkhouse

Dear Friends of FACES,

Do you have any idea what your donation to FACES really does? I can only speak for our family, but it gives us a peace of mind. IT allows us to travel far from home to a facility that is in our opinion, second to none. It allows us to be seen by a surgeon who is top in his field and is a great teacher of incredible procedures. Your donations bring miracles to life. Looking at photos of our little girl early on and seeing her today, humbles us beyond words, and although there are many people responsible for her greatness-it starts with you.


The Adams Family (yes, our real names) Michael, Jackie, Elizabeth, and Madeline