Kendall Knaus

USA

I’m Kendall Knaus, wife and mom of 3 grown kids.

I have a personal connection to cleft repair: my son was born with a partial cleft palate and lip. When he was only 2 weeks old, a surgeon repaired his clefts. I will always remember the incredible joy I felt after his surgery as my infant son smiled back at me with his new radiant smile. I want to pay that joyful feeling forward to other patients and their families.

I joined Smile Train’s Team EMPOWER for the 2017 London Marathon. Raising funds for these deserving kids while preparing and finishing the London Marathon was one of my most cherished life moments. I realized the best way to perpetuate this joy was to share my experience with other Team EMPOWER athletes as a Smile Train Ambassador

I’m fortunate to be a lifetime runner and swimmer. I’ve trained and completed four marathons: San Diego, Austin, New York and London. Training for endurance events taught me how important it is to eat well to fuel our amazing bodies. I’m inspired to educate others about the importance of choosing a healthy whole foods lifestyle. Currently I’m preparing to enter a masters degree program in nutritional sciences. My goal is to implement school educational programs in my community. A native Texan, I speak Spanish and French, and tri-lingual communication has been a cornerstone of my business career. I look forward to utilizing my language skills worldwide to promote health.

My future plans include joining a Smile Train Journey of Smiles trip, perhaps serving as a volunteer interpreter, and witnessing that familiar joy on the faces of the patients and their families when they see their beautiful new smiles.