Supporting Smiles: SeraPrime’s Care for Communities in Need

At SeraPrime, we understand the power of fetal bovine serum (FBS) to create a widespread positive community impact, and all that we do as an FBS producer is rooted in this belief. This May, SeraPrime’s owner, Carla Kutrubes, took on an incredible mission trip opportunity to the Dominican Republic. Carla traveled in association with the international humanitarian group ‘Mending Faces’ in order to help the community there facing the difficulties presented by cleft lip and cleft palate.

SeraPrime is proud of Carla’s recent experience in helping support communities in need - it has always been a dream of Carla’s to give back and donate her skills in a humanitarian environment, and SeraPrime was pleased to help make it a reality. Let’s take a deep dive into Carla’s exciting adventure and reflect on how this bodes an optimistic future for communities everywhere. 

What is Mending Faces? 

Mending Faces, an international humanitarian non-profit institution, restores hope and provides a brighter future to children whose lives are burdened by cleft lip and cleft palate. Cleft lip and cleft palate are openings or splits in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth (palate), or both. Cleft lip and cleft palate result when facial structures that are developing in an unborn baby don't close completely. 

Cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common birth defects, but they, unfortunately, make a significant impact on the lives of children who seek to grow up normally - Mending Faces has set out to help with this. Since 2010, Mending Faces has completed 17 Medical Missions and performed more than 900 life-changing surgeries all over the world! Most recently, their mission took them to the Dominican Republic once more, and SeraPrime was pleased to help one of our very own be a part of it. 

How Fetal Bovine Serum Positively Impacts Society

Due to the extensive complications and the long recovery process following surgery from this oral-facial condition, cleft lip and palate are globally considered to be a major psychological, social, and economic burden for affected individuals as well as their families and society. In fact, a child born with a cleft lip and/or palate faces malnutrition, constant illness, and social stigma.

Gaining insight into the genetic causes of cleft lip and palate should, therefore, lead to future improvement of genetic counseling. We can also expect that further genetic study (supported by FBS) could help uncover preventive and curative measures that can benefit the lives of people affected by cleft lip and palate.

The pursuit of insight and solutions requires extensive research into the development of these facial cells, and fetal bovine serum (FBS) plays an integral role. FBS is critical to research using cell cultures by supplying hormone factors for cell proliferation and growth, and it also helps by providing nutrients, trace elements, transport proteins, adherence, and extension factors. Cleft lip and palate research is just one example of how FBS is so important. 

In summary, FBS is integral to world-leading research into solutions for the biggest health challenges the world faces, and SeraPrime strives to continue providing ethically sourced FBS so that research can thrive. 

SeraPrime’s Support

When Carla came to us about her desire to be a part of Mending Faces’ mission to the Dominican Republic, we could not have been more pleased for her, proud to have her as our owner, or more excited to support her journey. While Carla would be supporting the mission as an ICU Nurse, the opportunity to help realize the immense potential of the societal impact of research using FBS was something we couldn’t overlook. Going back to the foundational values of SeraPrime and our goal to bring about goodness and positivity into the world in which we live and work, we decided to fully sponsor Carla’s trip. 

Carla’s Mission Trip 

Carla’s mission trip truly was the adventure of a lifetime. It all began in Santa Domingo, the county’s capital, where she lodged in the Zona Colonial part of the city and was able to take a deep breath before the oncoming storm of work. After arriving on May 4th, every morning began with breakfast at 6:30 am and a 30-60 minute drive to the operation site where she would see patients every day. The first day was booked for pre-operative meetings and time to be able to set up three operating rooms in the Clinica Cruz Jiminian public hospital.  After that day, and for the rest of the trip lasting until May 10th, the work was nearly nonstop. 

Every morning, Carla’s team (composed of international workers from Norway, Peru, Switzerland, New Jersey, Texas, and Colorado) began work at 8:00 am, and while the first day was a whole 8-hour shift, the following several days consisted of working until all patients were seen and treated - this meant, in some cases, that the team was working until 9:30 pm or later. Carla’s role was a circulating nurse in the operating room wherein she would set up each operating table, get all the supplies the surgeon needed, and prepare more supplies to have on standby. Furthermore, she would help carry patients in the operating room, start IVs, and do everything she could to help the small team. 

All in all, the mission was an outstanding success. Carla’s team took care of a total of 53 patients, including 16 cleft lips and 37 cleft  palates, and although the time was stressful and exhausting with up to 14-hour workdays, these 53 patients received life-changing care for conditions that would otherwise have affected them their entire lives. 53 children now have the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives in their communities!

SeraPrime: Supporting Smiles and the Future of Society

Carla’s mission trip is but one example of the great work being done by medical professionals around the world using the latest science to treat the most complicated health conditions. A big shout out to our on-the-ground partners in the Dominican Republic: Clinica Cruz Jiminian, FNE International, and FUNAPU, and all of the volunteers, facilitators, doctors, nurses, and medical students! It takes a village to pull off a successful mission and this was truly the manifestation of unbelievable teamwork.

Mending Faces is now gearing up for their October Mission to Biñan, Philippines where many children await their new smiles. To give a child the gift of a new smile and a chance at a healthy life, please consider a donation:

SeraPrime looks forward to doing all that we can to support the future of our society by providing ethically sourced FBS to researchers and laboratories throughout the world and providing opportunities for inspiring people, like Carla, who are actively taking part in the betterment of tomorrow. If you would like to learn more about SeraPrime and our FBS products, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team of experts today. 

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