SURREY - For 25 years, Steven Morris has received strange looks because he was born without a chin. Now, his mom thinks it's about time he got one.
Kerry Morris hopes to afford her eldest son a chin augmentation by raising $3,000 through Chins Up for Steven, a two-part fundraiser through Indiegogo and an event at Olympia Pizza on Friday, Aug. 24.
"Steven's always wanted to have a chin," said Kerry. "Society really sucks the way that people look at people, so I want him to fit in and not feel uncomfortable."
Steven has Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS), a rare congenital disorder that causes deformities of the face and head. It affects roughly one out of every 50,000 births and is considered genetic, though the Morris's don't know anyone else in the family who has TCS.
As a result, Steven doesn't have cheekbones and is hearing impaired, in addition to being slightly developmentally delayed.
"With Treacher Collins syndrome, they have no cheekbones and they have very small or no chin," Kerry said. "It's like his face is flat."
Over the years, Steven has gone through seven surgeries to correct such issues as a narrow airway and malformed ears. He had a jaw distraction last year, but recently found out that the lower jaw needs to be redone.
He is scheduled for surgery on Saturday, Aug. 28, and while the jaw distraction is covered, the chin augmentation is not. It's considered a cosmetic surgery, even though Steven was born this way.
"We always knew it wasn't covered and we always ran out of time trying to get everything set up," said Kerry.
Kerry is on a fixed income and doesn't have the money for the procedure, but she has the drive to get it. She's working hard to organize the August fundraiser, adding gift card raffles, live entertainment and food to the bash.
She's enlisted the help of Twan Holliday, the frontman of Motsrhead tribute group Snaggletooth, for music. She's also lined up performances by local rapper Matt Kron Armstrong and Surrey country musician Atasha Marlee.
The event starts at 8 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Olympia Pizza, 10257 King George Blvd., and has a $15 admission and a 19-plus age limit.
Anyone interested in helping out can donate through indiegogo.com/chinsupforsteven until the deadline on Saturday, Aug. 25. To provide a giveaway for the raffle, contact Kerry through the Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/chinsupforsteven.
"He's just a great kid and I want him to have what he deserves," she said. "All I want is for him to be happy."