1001Smiles.com: How a little boy who lost his own life ended up giving life-changing surgery to 1,000 suffering children...



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Comments Shared: Sean's "1001 Smiles" Project:



"To Sean,

Hey little buddy =). You never knew this but I'd promised your mom that I would give drum lessons to her first boy. Little did I know that it would be me that would learn the biggest lesson of all... Smile! Your smile was too bright for this world...but it is undoubtably shining bigger and brighter than ever.


Thank you Sean. By the way, that lesson is still on for when we meet in the next life."

Hyorki N. Valderrama



"Unbelievable. This is truly unbelievable.


How so much love and hope for so many little children can come from

so much horror suffered by one child and his family is unreal.


Truly, I am speechless. I have never heard of anything like this."




Our staff has been touched by your story. Your son lives on in so many little ones.

We hope you find peace in knowing that his brief life was so meaningful.

Marie G.,  Ft. Lauderdale




Like many I am humbled upon reading of your family's journey with Sean.

For me, it is a story of grace defined in... little Sean. I suspect there were others too.

You have a wonderful and amazing family. Thank you for sharing in this way.

I'll certainly share 1001smiles with others and look into donating to smiletrain.


Dave Cleveland




Truly an incredible story and very inspiring. Incredibly sad but incredibly beautiful in the end!

my condolenses for this terrible loss but a big WOW for the end result for a brave little guy.


This is the kind of story more people should hear about, for many reasons.





Expect a letter addressed from Smile Train to your family about this in the next few days...

The decision to donate was motivated by a love for you, for Sean even though we only know him by your wonderful website, your husband and daughter and the fantastic work that the charity does. 

I canít imagine how you feel... 


Bill and Myra Henley



My team and I are amazed at the loving result of this story and terribly disappointed in... those who caused your pain.

Perhaps one day they find the courage to send you the apology you and your son deserved.


Rest assured many of us in the medical profession still do honor our patients' trust.

Hopefully you will find some some comfort in the faces of the children your son has saved!






This is very inspirational - - sort of a domino effect of the best kind. It's always very interesting to me that all it takes is one action on the part of someone to get the ball rolling. What a great testimony to their son's life.

Thanks, Joyce



I come to the link often, just to remind myself of the blessing that is to be a mom.
I am so happy you had the heart and the patience to see it all become a reality and what I love the most is

the fact that you make the statement that the 1001 smile is that of your son Sean....


I swear, that alone brings tears of joy to my eyes!!!

I am sure he is in heaven smiling big and watching over all of you and those little angels helped on his behalf!!


Jenny G. and family


Wow!! I'm so proud...for giving your son such a wonderful legacy of all those SMILES!!


Way to go. The pics were very moving.


Kim Musgrove





Wonderful story to share and a true love giving gift. God Bless (Sean) for this gift to others in need.



I visit often and what ever negative thing was happening that day it seems to disappear or diminish,


Long live Sean in the smiles of thousands.





Thanks so much.... It makes me cry, both from sadness and happiness.






What a beautiful thing. Tikun Olam...to repair the world... this is a step in the right direction. G-d bless.

Alfred Fredel





What a great way to give back.





There are really no words to convey all that you and your family went through- to overcome all the obstacles, not to mention all the pain... What a wonderful legacy for your family and for Sean.





Absolutely inspirational!!!
May God continue to Bless You and Your Family
Your angel is definitely smiling



I am so sad Sean and your family have suffered so terribly- so incredibly unfair and maddening.

How beautiful though to see what a blessing his life has turned out to be for so many needy kids.


Alex Garcia



Wow. Excellent... God bless. Talk about a state of grace.



What a beautiful web-site youíve created on behalf of your son! It is truly special.

They do say that God works in mysterious ways and I can see how heís done that through your son.


The pictures are beautiful! Iím glad that the long ordeal is over and that a new chapter in your lives has begun.

Iím sure that many of the children whose lives youíve touched...will keep in touch through this web-site

and the memory of Sean will continue forever!


N. D. Rio



I did visit the web site and felt very uplifted 
You and your family have done a wonderful, and special deed in

Sean's name and I am honored to know you what you have done...Thank you.

Adela Stednick



Congrats.   I can only guess how emotional and yet satisfying this must have been.   

What a wonderful gift to so many.  I will certainly pass it on.  






WOW!! Holiness, this entire story is unbelievable. Thanks for putting up this website. How inspiring.




"Truly amazing.  I cried as I read your tragic story, but I also cried

when I read your success story of helping and bringing a smile to so many angels. 

No parents should go through what you have gone through, but

God has truly given you the strength to make a difference in this world. 

May God continue to bless you and your family. 

Love always  Gloria"



Marilyn's post on facebook page:


The story depicted is only a taste of what was endured as a family met

the challenge and turned a tragedy to a victory. Congrats Chad, Michele, Sara and Sean.


I know that Sean is shining down on us from heaven.


Marilyn Hernandez, RN



Hello Denlingers,
I remember meeting Sean in North Carolina at his grandparents.

Such a bright light in his eyes. The ineffable quality that has allowed you

turn his tragic circumstances into smiles is truly inspiring.
Michael Stinson



The website is just great!

I am touched beyond words.... Thank you for sharing this with me and of course I will send this to others.

I love you my friend and wish only the best in life for you.

Take care and keep in touch.
John S.









Joe Gonzalez




Wonderful story to share and a true love giving gift. God Bless



I'm touched by this.

I spent time on your website and viewed the
youtube of your newscast. Thank you both...




Truly amazing.


I'm at a loss for words, but I will say that I am very emotionally affected by this.


Thank you so much for fighting not only to right a wrong done to your son,

but for having the vision to (literally and figuratively) bring

smiles to so many faces out of a difficult situation...


Sean will live on in so many hearts. God bless you and your family.

With respect,


"I saw this page and it was amazing! I am so happy that you had the

opportunity to do this. I can't imagine how grateful those familes are.


Those kids, as you said can now possibly live a normal life...


I know Sean is proud... Many blessings to you and your family."

Jessica Newman



It is truly my honor.. your family, who through such a tragic event found the silver lining and

gave back so much, even though it cost you so much more. I am a father now and cannot even begin to

imagine the pain you must still go through, as I could not imagine my life without my little baby boy. 


I fight the tears knowing that you had to go through so much only to help 1000.  I wish it was 100 million.

I hope that I find the same strength if such an event should ever befall myself or my family...

this cause, although beset through Sean, was yet another addition

to the many lives ...shaped through music for so long.  I am humbled.

I now succumb to my tears, because I can't even see the keyboard anymore...


Marcos Martinez 



Bravo!! On (the) accomplishments and turning a very sad situation into a triumph.


Luzandra Diaz


"WOW !! To say I am in awe of all the miracles your family managed to
reap from such a horrible tragedy would be an understatement. God bless."

Frank Velarde


I haven't looked through all the pictures yet but I did look at the website and
read the story about Sean, plus saw the video of the interview...

I had no idea Sean had left such a legacy behind...

being able to take a situation that would entirely devastate many,

and turning it into 1001 smiles. 

God Bless You both and the rest of your family...


I know there's a little angel sitting on each of your shoulders...


and his name is Sean.




"Thank you! =)"

Nelly Ayala


Your little boy Sean is truly an inspiration to us all!!"


Jenny Lopez-Guerrero



I know a little bit of what you went through, I lost my brother 3 years ago
after 8 years of watching him suffer and deteriorate due to medical malpractice.
I'm currently in the hell of legal action against the hospital...

 One day, we'll trade war stories.

Till then God Bless, because what you are doing

in the name of your son is amazing.


Un Abrazo, Nelson



Congratulations on Giving Miles of Smiles


 (This) continues to amaze me... I am in awe of your 1001 Smiles Project.

I celebrate your successes and I am sorrowful for your losses, trials and tribulations. 

All My Love, Comfort and Blessings to You! 


Rick Knight



God bless you and your family. To make a triumph out of a tragedy is something truly special


Joel Gonzalez




I cried for an hour...



What a way to turn tragedy and pain into a life saving journey.


Sean will live in each and everyone of those kids helped ... God bless...


Iím sure your little angel is SMILING at you from heaven.

Sara Castellano



I looked at the pictures and was impressed by the number of children and their age range. 

I became teary-eyed looking at the smiling faces and those that were recently operated. 


...a wonderful thing, and your faced showed it. 


Your daughter looked like she enjoyed herself as well.  Thanks for sharing with me. 





This is beautiful!



I loved it.  How sweet those faces!!  I love that Sara is involved in all of it. 

She deserves to know how special her brother was and the legacy he has left in so many lives.


Maria Elena Diaz de Villegas


You have endured such pain and grief and horror and  yet...(Sean was) chosen to be an instrument of love,

hope, and compassion. Bless you and your entire family.  


"...and ensure Sean had not died in vain.

The ripple effect of Sean's "1001 Smiles" Project

can never be measured, but it is certain that future generations will be created

where none would have even existed... making this a story that truly has no end"


There is nothing I can add......really, I have not finished the pictures of the cities,

but I just want to thank you...

and I can only assume any other person that has the privilege to see

what (has been) done on behalf of Sean.





I was so taken with this site and the video and all of it. Our daughter had a cleft.

What this family went through and then what they did on behalf of their son's memory is really beautiful.


What an awesome, awesome message to the world.

It inspires me to want to sponsor a child. I didn't know they had that program. Thank you for sharing this.:)



That's awesome!!!! this is so extremely genuine and beautiful!!!! ...Keep spreading positivety!!!!!
Flip Aguilera


... to make a difference in the lives of other children is incredible.

What an amazing way to celebrate the life of your son.


Lor Demorest Jordan



Thanks so much for sharing...awesome. God Bless you and your family


Alina Rubi



I cried for Sean's suffering and for the heartbreak of a loving family.


Whenever you are overwhelmed by pain and sadness,

I pray that you find solace in your son's incredible legacy.



I've gone to the website and... to find happiness/fulfillment (after) such a tragic loss is actually beautiful.


David Troncoso



Thank you so much for sharing 1001 Smiles... It brought me to tears to see all the amazing work...


I know Sean is Smiling down from Heaven. Much Love


Maria Lacayo Cardenas


Our daughter is a "smile train baby". she was born in China in Nov. 2005 with a significant cleft lip and palate. She was abandoned in a hospital in Baoding City, China (just SW of Beijing) in mid-Dec. 2005. Her lip was repaired in Sept. 2006 and palate in April 2007 thanks to people...who donate to Smile Train... and the great work of this amazing organization.

In Nov. 2007, Lily (Nan Hua) became our daughter. We had no record of her before her surgery. 
I innocently emailed Smile Train with the information we had about her and within 24 hours we had pictures, the name of the physician and the date of the repairs! I was awe-struck. Not only did Smile Train give her an amazing opportunity with the repair but they gave us, her mama and daddy, a history that we never would have had.

Thank you...i can tell you from a parents perspective that what... have offered to these children and families is amazing...

Sean's and your suffering has alleviated the suffering of so many.

Susan & Stephen Hollis


Truly inspirational! I'm sure you are aware that words cannot describe the joy

placed in these children's lives through perseverance.


Javib Camayd


Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful and wonderful experience.


Thanks so much for sharing... awesome. God Bless you and your family

Soraya Diaz Herran-Flynn


God bless your family. To make a triumph out of a tragedy is something truly special


Joel Gonzalez



Very Inspirational and God Bless Sean and your family.

Axel Aleman


...truly inspirational! Your little angel is smiling down from heaven with joy

and love in his heart. ............. well, no words can really describe it.

Bless you and your family and little Sean!

His memory will live on in thousands of SMILES!!!!!!!

Lisa McCumber Gandara


This is a blessing always looking out for others you and your family will be blessed forever.


Steve Gomez


I was just forwarded and e-mail with a link to 1001 smiles. 

As a parent, Iíve now learned that even in the most difficult and impossible of situations

to deal with, there is still love and compassion to be found and expressed.


Anthony C.


I'm very happy that Sean was able to help so many children.

Wishing you and your family always the best.


Zoila Infante



Wow!  It was wonderful to see the pictures.  May the Lord bless you and your family....  Many children were touched.  

No words can describe the long term impact and effect this will have on them and their families for years to come. 

May Sean's memory continue to live in  all of you.


Lots of love, Keila




..truly inspirational.


Dana Grunwald Shay




From Claudia Torres:


Little by little I have been sharing your website to my friends. 

A few of them took a look at it and below is what they had to say.

What my friend Brooke had to say:
that is such an amazing story! I actually see Smile Train representatives every time I go to Peru.

They are a wonderful organization!

What my friend Kee had to say:
Thanks for making me cry Claudia.  What a blessing! 


All the angels up in heaven (including Sean) must be soooo proud....


What a truly awesome project!

Stacy Berger Brazier



"just read,saw the site. i was very touched by your story and was amazed on how
so much positive could come out of such a tragedy. whatever i can do to help,
please let me know."

Kevin Miyar


"Thanks for sharing! Full of tears of joy when I read it. What your family and
Sean have accomplished is amazing and so well deserved! There's nothing greater
than putting a smile on a child's face!"

Becky Rodriguez



I love what you guys have done!


Mily Zequeira


"Thank you for sharing. It is such an amazing thing that all these children can
have a chance at enjoying a life with so many new alternatives now available to
them. It is always a great thing when children can and do smile."

Ev Toruno


This is a wonderful cause, Congrats!



What an incredible thing... such a profound difference in so my lives.

To know that (Sean) has helped those kids have a more ďnormalĒ life has to be a feeling

that not many get to experience.  I know that you would not have chosen this particular path,

but have certainly have turned a tragedy into hope for so many.




Thank you for sharing your story. Very inspiring.


Susan Daniher Heine


 How wonderful to see the results of your gift!


Dawn Napolitano


 I am in tears. What a truly beautiful thing...out of such a sad tragedy.


Jenny lamy



I am in awe... I haven't heard of anything so  inspirational.

God bless your cause


Domingo Ugarte






Very nice to see all those kids smiling. Hugs and kisses to Sean and the Family.


Leo Lopez



I saw the India pictures and that is so amazing ...for all those children.

What an experience to see the children (that Sean) literally put a smile on their face.


Monique Oliva




Thank you a thousand times for sharing this story! I feel so proud... because

this story has finally taken life! I'm so happy to know that

Sean will always live on in our hearts

and in the smiles of those blessed people. God bless!

Elisa Diaz



...beyond words...Seeing those parents bringing their children to be helped was so moving.


Thank you, thank you, thank you.




POSTED ON:   RxForTheSoul          thesoulsentinel.com


Comment Re: 1001Smiles.com


This website was brought to my attention by a family member who suggested I post in on my blog for others to see. Upon viewing it myself, I couldn't help but want to post it. Here's an example of adversity turned into compassion.  It is refreshing to hear stories, especially those involving people in our community, that chronicle pain transformed to love.  This story in particular courtesy of a teacher and her husband who turned the death of their three-year old son into 1001 smiles

                                               Connie Perez




...I just saw the website and I must tell you, I am going to forward it to every single soul that I know.  It is the most beautiful site I have seen.  I donít know if it is that I know of the story as far back as far back from... (when Sean was born)... all the way through the battle in the courts,

but every time I read anything on Sean, tears come to my eyes. 


At first it was due to sadness in my heart but now it is of joy and satisfaction that Sean won...


I want you to know you and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers.


E. Rodriguez



All I can say is WOW!! 

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived is amazing, but 1001,

Iím sure heís smiling with all of those children in India.


Iím overwhelmed ...


This is beautiful and I am so glad your wish was fulfilled. Sean's legacy continues!



Hi Michele ... FUACATA! ... I went to the page and it was just nothing less that ...

AMAZING! ... to read this wonderful endeavor. God bless all of your family.

N. Perez


What a wonderful experience.  I am so happy this was finally able to take place. 

Thank you ....  Sean lives on in every one of those smiles.




Wow. That is so cool! ...That is awesome!

I want to hear about it if we are judging together this season!

J. Cayer



The website is amazing.  Thank you so much for sharing. 




Keep the "train" runnin', it is truly an inspiration (India? Cool!)!

Apolo Hernandez



Oh...that's awesome!




So proud of you guys.

Stay strong while out there and share those smiles when you get back.




The light of your son shines through... to the rest of

the children in the world...truly inspiring...

I can't wait to show my wife and kids tonight.

George Fraguio



Such a moving piece. Thank you for sharing.

Maria L. Cardenas



That is a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing that. I hope you are doing well.

Shawn Barat




How absolutely beautiful and inspiring!!  You did it! 




I just saw this and it was so moving and inspirational.

Its truly amazing that you were able to channel all this pain and suffering

that all of you went through and turn it into something positive...

...so many unfortunate children in horrible situations.


Many people would turn something similar that happened to them as a negative punishment

from God and would never think to help anyone since they lost faith...

These children which will grow up to have families of their own one day and tell

their children the miraculous story that happened to them out of nowhere...

Their children will tell their children and so on and so...(Sean) truly made a mark in history...

God bless you


Vince Lopez



What a beautiful thing in memory of your son, Sean.  Thank you for sharing.


Christina N.


Way to go for Sean! I'm moved, and I'm proud of you! God bless you and your family!




thanks for making me cry first thing in the morning!  Canít wait to show this to the kids. 

What an incredible experience you had meeting the kids in India. 




wow, incredible!!

William Reaney



WOW!! I'm so deeply touched...


Julie F.



This is how God works....His hand is all over this.

Leo Altamiranda



I can't stop weeping.

My little great-grandson. I love you all so much --- wish I could be there.




..amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'll definitely forward this. What a great cause.

Dawn Napolitano



I was really touched. It's a small world. A friend has been involved w/ Operation Smile

for years and I have gone to fundraisers for this cause. Will definitely forward this. un abrazo!


A. De Varona


I echo the comments of those before me.

You chose to fight and bring some sort of redemption in Sean honor.


Alma Martinez



Tears filled my eyes while watching that video... truly an inspiration.

And even though Sean was only with you for such a short amout of time that

little boy did such a HUGE impact on alot of our lives.

God bless you and your beautiful family.


Monique Oliva



Thank you for sharing this. It is truly touching. I said it once and I will say it again.

Smile Train helps improve the health and lives of children and young adults...

Being able to help 1,000 kids is not pretty cool, its FANTASTIC.


Claudia Torres



WOW! Absolutely AMAZING! (Sean) will touch many unfortunate children

who really need help! God Bless your beautiful family.

Miss ya' Steven


Very cool...thanks for sharing and for the work done after suffering through so much.

Scott Eldredge



Michele - can you give us the information on how to make donations to

SmileTrain in Sean's name to help more kids?


Cathi Leibinger


YOU have touched the inner souls of many.

Sean's smile will live on through the magic of your work.




I am deeply moved. Leo is right-- this is how God works.


Lee Michael Morrison



...God bless your family for having the strenghth to help others even as you hurt.

This is trully inspirational.


Lissette Velazquez



What an amazing story. Sometimes we don't know why we land in certain places

but I like to think that there are angels in heaven guiding us through difficult times.

Now, because of your beautiful boy there are many children able to share a bright smile again.

Thanks for sharing


Miguel de la Hoz



Wow! what an amazing piece!

Thank you Sean, for helping the lives of others and continuing to inspire!

god bless your family!


Nicole Callava



Amazing. God bless...


Alexandra L.



That is amazing!!!!! GOD bless!


Yta von G



Thank you for sharing...amazing. I am sure Sean is proud.

...for helping put a smile on one thousand children.


Giaconda Reina



This brought tears to my eyes. I am glad you were able to realize that dream in Seans honor.


Sonia Vargas



What an amazing way to celebrate Sean's memory.

It truly is an inspiration to hear and see...


Carlos Abril



You and your family have been very strong through this all.

Most of all I applaud that you don't forget what he went through.

Sean knows you're doing this and is smiling.


Maribel Garcia



Oh... God bless you guys.


Shael Morgan



i would like to offer my condolences and prayers to you and your family




I would love to see the picture of the first patient (April 27, how utterly poetic).

God Bless you and your family.


A. Hernandez




damn sorry to hear that.  i'll light a candle for him





I'd heard about your son... Seeing this brought back so many memories and it also brought

back memories of my little cousin Patrick who had leukemia (he also passed in 2000), but was

also at Joe DiMaggio. My summer goal will be to raise $250 and donate it to Smile Train

in honor of Sean.


Chris Medrano