Mother spreads smiles

Estelle Ellis

WITH her infectious giggle, resilient nature and radiant personality, Helena Cullis lights up the dreariest of hospital wards. As co-founder of Cleft Friends, Cullis – a finalist for The Herald GM Citizen of the Year award – dedicates her time and resources to help the mothers of babies born with cleft lips and palates.

Cullis originally started the organisation with Madge Olivier when she noted, after having a child with a cleft palate herself, that there were no support groups in South Africa.

At the time, her and her husband, Matthew, had their first child Joel in 2009.

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