Kim’s on a mission to help restore Linh Da’s smile

Linh Da Vo is a happy girl with a beautiful smile – not that you can see it.

The 12-year-old from Vietnam was born with a birth mark on her face which grew into a tumour that has taken over the left-hand side of her face and obscures her mouth.

Deer Park resident Kim Thien Truong met Linh Da two years ago in a children’s hospital in Vietnam and has sponsored the girl and her mother, Hanh Vu, to come to Australia for medical treatment.

“They [the hospital] couldn’t do any treatment for her so I chased her medical report and contacted Monash Hospital and they agreed to take her on,” Ms Truong said.

Ms Truong, who is a former Vietnamese boat person, has already raised more than $40,000 for the surgery by approaching businesses and community groups.

Linh Da will be the fourth child Ms Truong has helped out in recent years, including an orphan born with congenital glaucoma, a seven-month-old with glaucoma and a two-year-old who couldn’t move her body because of a large tumour in her brain.

Ms Truong says she wants to give such kids a chance to access proper medical treatment and help with both their health and appearance to give them a bright future.

Linh Da’s tumour is not cancerous, but it does cause her pain. Doctors will need to remove the tumour and take some muscle from her leg to put in her cheek.

She will also need plastic surgery and dental work.

Ms Truong said Linh Da had undergone a series of tests in the lead-up to the tumour surgery, which will be done either this month or early in August.

“We don’t know in total how much this will cost. It could be up to $70,000 or $80,000, or it could be less,” Ms Truong said.

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