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Friday, November 1, 2013
Chris Myers to appear on Today Show

By Tania Ganguli

HOUSTON -- With the Texans scheduled to appear on NBC's Sunday Night Football this weekend, the network's Today Show will have Texans center Chris Myers and his family on for a short segment this morning.

You can catch them during the 9 a.m. hour.

Myers will be making the appearance to raise awareness for cleft lips and palates. His son Keane was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He and his wife Jenny shared Keane's difficult journey with me this summer.

An excerpt from that story, the moment they first saw him after his surgery:
Chris, Houston's Pro Bowl center, puts his hand on Keane's soft blonde hair. He lowers his bearded face and kisses his son.

"Keaner, are you in there?" Jenny Myers says gently as she soothes him. She wipes tears from around her eyes and strokes his little right hand with her left thumb.

Blood-caked stitches run down the front of Keane's face, from the bottom of his newly shaped nose to the sewn-together upper lip that makes a peak at the center. His lips never fused together in his mother's womb. Neither did the roof of his mouth. At birth, the flesh that should have made up the underside of his nose down to the center of his upper lip protruded in a pink bulb in the center of his face, detached from the other sides of his lip. He needs special equipment to eat. Without surgeries, speaking would be a challenge.

For six months his parents have worked to help him eat even with the defects, helped reshape his lips by attaching a retainer-like apparatus to it and helped shield him from strangers' callous stares. And for six months, he's taught his family and their close friends lessons in empathy and acceptance.

Today's surgery took three hours. Wires and tubes still connect him to a machine checking his vital signs. One ankle is wrapped in green medical tape with teal dinosaurs on it.