"This is about allowing children to smile again. It's about giving children new ears. It's about restoring a child's face after a tumor was removed. It's about letting kids get back to their lives again."
John C. Lester Jr. was a man of formidable strength and optimism. At age 21, he learned that his kidneys were failing due to a rare side effect from strep throat. After three kidney transplants spanning 26 years, he was subsequently diagnosed with skin cancer in 2011. That was when John underwent four major “free flap” surgeries, in which he removed the cancer from his head, replacing entire sections of skull with bone, veins and tissue from his own arms, legs and back. His resilience allowed him to fight back from brain infection, kidney disease and several 20 hour+ reconstructive operations. However, in August of 2016, he ultimately succumbed to the cancer which had gone into his brain and was beyond the reach of modern medicine.
In the leading months up to his passing, he had focused his energy into his newfound passion: Improving the lives of children undergoing reconstructive surgeries. The cause was personal to him, because he knew these children were undergoing the very same operations that he endured. In the midst of suffering from his own illnesses he had completed all of the preliminary work and planning to set up a foundation aimed at helping these children.
The John Lester Foundation was built from the blueprint that he outlined. We have carried on this mission in memory of John, but his dream continues to live on in the many lives that we have changed.
WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY
BUT THERE IS MORE WORK TO BE DONE
Since the John Lester Foundation officially got off the ground, the support has been overwhelming.With the generous help of our donors and army of people who have believed in our cause we have:
Towards the Cause
Grown Our Army to
THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
OUR OUTLETS FOR IMPACT
We work with key leaders committed to providing the best in reconstructive surgical care to work together to improve overall outcomes for children with facial deformities.