"We no longer have to let our appearance hurt our potential," WorldCF donor Robert Miller said recently, and he should know. He has had twelve surgeries to correct a serious cleft lip and palate, the first of which was when he was twelve and continuing into his twenties. "I am very grateful that my family found Dr. Salyer, who had started the Baylor Medical Center craniofacial program before being recruited to establish the International Craniofacial Institute at Medical City in Dallas.
"He needed to repair a lot of my previous surgeries. I was a very self-conscious teenager, worried about my appearance, and am not sure I would have found the confidence to follow my career path without the intervention that Dr. Salyer provided."
A long-time generous donor to the WorldCF, Miller, now president of Crimson Chemicals in Fort Worth, believes in giving back and paying forward. "As an adult, I was able to thank Dr. Salyer and introduce him to my wife Maribeth when he hosted a book signing for his memoir, A Life That Matters, and it means a lot that I was able to do that then and that I can now help others who need the complex world-class surgeries that the foundation provides."
After graduating from Texas Tech in 1994, Miller worked in restaurants and private clubs where he met a contact who recruited him to work with him at a healthcare staffing firm he later bought, taking it from ten employees to 125. Five years later, he sold the firm to become the Texas representative for a chemical company, and in 2002 he started his own chemical company with one employee serving the plywood, oil and gas, and food-safety fields. The Fort Worth firm now employs twenty people and supplies chemicals that safely extend the shelf life of beef and poultry products.
"I am fortunate to be able to give back and am pleased that I can pay forward for those children who need intervention," he said. Mr. Miller encourages everyone who can help to do it and to tell their friends about the Foundation's life-altering work.