Fresh Start Surgical Gifts to provide $600,000 worth of life-changing medical care to 11 patients


Fresh Start Surgical Gifts will donate life-changing surgeries to 11 children during its Surgery Weekend July 17-18 in partnership with Rady Children’s Hospital, ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospitals in 2021 by U.S. News & World Report. Fresh Start will also see an additional 35-40 children at its clinic for postoperative follow-up visits, speech therapy, laser treatments, dental and orthodontic services.

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts transforms the lives of disadvantaged infants, children and teens who have physical and cosmetic deformities through their gift of reconstructive surgery at absolutely no cost to patients or their families. World-renowned surgeons donate their time and expertise pro bono to these children to offer them the medical care they need and, essentially, a fresh start in life.

“Our mission goes beyond just helping children … we are literally shaping lives,” says Shari Brasher, CEO of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. “Some of these families have been told ‘no’ so many times; we’re so grateful that with the help of our volunteer expert surgeons, we’re able to give them the medical care they deserve and make all of their dreams come true.”

To efficiently treat children’s deformities, Fresh Start hosts six Surgery Weekend cycles annually. Each cycle provides patients with two days of intensive surgeries along with supporting medical treatments, such as dental, orthodontics, laser and speech therapy. Fresh Start’s volunteer medical professionals are highly qualified and strive to empower the confidence of these children.

The surgeries set for this upcoming surgery weekend range from kids starting at age 3 to 25. The cases range from several cases of microtia, two gynecomastia cases, two hand surgeries, cleft palate surgery and an intense laser treatment for a port-wine stain.

Andrea, age 3, was born with a port-wine stain covering a large portion of her face, and will receive her final treatment on July 17 at Surgery Weekend. With advancements in technology over the years, a high-tech laser is used by Fresh Start Volunteer Dr. Bari Cunningham, dermatologist, and Dr. Greg Ostrow, ophthalmologist. This cutting-edge laser is used in place of years of surgery and skin grafts. It is extremely costly, and often considered an elective or cosmetic procedure, not covered by insurance. The value of Andrea’s medical treatments to-date is over $100,000, all provided at no cost to her family.

Always in pursuit of excellence and to provide disadvantaged children the best possible care, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts formed a partnership with Rady Children’s Hospital over 10 years ago. Through this partnership, reconstructive surgery and other medical services are provided at the Fresh Start Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital by a volunteer team of private practice surgeons and medical professionals from Rady Children’s Hospital and UC San Diego. Fresh Start also partners with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. To see a preview of Surgery Weekend, click here.

Since Fresh Start’s beginning in 1991, the organization has provided 8,326 children with medical care valued at $46,561,903, and the need for high-quality medical care continues to grow. Fresh Start is consistent in their mission to provide high-quality medical treatment for disadvantaged youth, no matter the circumstance.

Every child receives the highest quality medical care, and the families never see a bill for the services provided. Each donor’s money is put to the highest use and each dollar donated enables Fresh Start to provide $5 in medical care. One-hundred percent of contributions go directly to medical programs.

For more information on Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, visit —Fresh Start Surgical Gifts news release