by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

A Fresh Start

A boy named Daniel experienced a traumatic dog attack that left his face scarred. Due to financial hardship, his family was unable to get him proper medical treatment. Fortunately, Daniel was referred to Fresh Start Surgical Gifts – a San Diego-based charity with the mission to provide no-cost surgical and health care services to children who have been affected by physical deformities.
Today, Daniel is almost completely recovered thanks to free reconstructive surgeries provided by the volunteers at Fresh Start. Daniel’s story is just one of thousands. Since Fresh Start Surgical Gifts started 25 years ago, it has treated over 7,000 patients and has donated over $31,000,000 in surgical-related services.

volunteer_fer3Dr. Robert Ferdowsmakan is proud to have begun volunteering with Fresh Start over six years ago. “I learned about Fresh Start from a friend and colleague who was a Fresh Start volunteer surgeon,” recalled Dr. Ferdowsmakan. “I have been a volunteer surgeon ever since.”
Dr. Ferdowsmakan feels his biggest accomplishment as a volunteer surgeon for Fresh Start is having a part in transforming the lives of underprivileged children who otherwise may not have been able to receive the surgical care that they need. “The surgeries that Fresh Start provides are life- changing for patients and entire families,” he noted.

As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Ferdowsmakan explained why he felt compelled to be a part of the charity organization: “Fresh Start allows me to give back to the community. I feel blessed to have had the opportunities to become a surgeon and I am in a position to help those less fortunate.” He added, “Fresh Start is an amazing organization with great people who all have a common goal to help the children.”

Apart from his involvement with Fresh Start, Dr. Ferdowsmakan has volunteered for Thousand Smiles and Smiles of Tecate, both charity organizations that make medical trips to Mexico.
Dr. Ferdowsmakan lives in Carmel Valley with his wife Noushin and their three-year-old daughter Alina. “We plan to raise our family in Carmel Valley,” said Dr. Ferdowsmakan. “I love everything Carmel Valley has to offer including the parks where my daughter can play, proximity to Del Mar beaches, great school system, and of course the wonderful people.”

Name: Dr. Robert Ferdowsmakan
Community: Carmel Valley
Volunteer Affiliation: Fresh Start Surgical Gifts
Profession: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Interests: The outdoors
Favorite Local Spot: Torrey Pines State Beach

Organization: Fresh Start Surgical Gifts
Mission: Fresh Start Surgical Gifts transforms the lives of disadvantaged infants, children, and teens with physical deformities caused by birth, accidents, abuse, or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery and related healthcare services.