Meet Our Second Chance Recipients, Shawna Meyers and Courtney O’Neal
Shawna and Courtney Tell Us About Their Dental Health
Shawna: In 2008, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Since then, I have had a complete thyroidectomy followed by radiation treatment. Now, I have a constant dry mouth, and it has caused my teeth to take a turn for the worse. No matter how well I care for my teeth, the decay/dry mouth has proceeded to take its toll. I have constant teeth pain and have to see a dentist very often to work on teeth. I have already lost several teeth, had several root canals, and do not have a tooth left that has not had major dental work. They continue to chip, break, and decay, so unfortunately, now I am out of options and need to have all my teeth removed and a new teeth system in place.
Courtney: I am currently missing several teeth. I have had several pulled in the past and with teeth being down and getting smaller, sometimes my gums get sore where the teeth were pulled. Many are currently chipped or ground down. I cannot stay in places where it is very cold for long as my teeth start to cause me a significant amount of pain.
Shawna and Courtney Tell Us Why Restoring Their Oral Health Is Important to Them
Shawna: Since my teeth continue to chip, break, and decay, I feel that restoration is the best option. It’s super scary and crazy to be so young and facing major decisions about your teeth when you think this won’t come until much later in your life. But, I believe that laughter and smiling are the best way to stay positive and live a healthy life. This is very hard to do when you are ashamed of the way your teeth look. I am a mother of four wonderful children, and they keep me very busy, so I don’t have much free time to take constant trips to the dentist. Being so busy, I don’t have time to always be on pain meds to manage my teeth pain. I do smile a lot because I have a lot to be happy and thankful for, but I have noticed the decline in my smile since my teeth have turned so bad. I feel it is very important to smile, especially around children, because we teach them to smile and enjoy life, and I do not ever want to be ashamed to laugh with my children. Restoring my smile is super important to me and would be life-changing.
Courtney: As of right now, I am scared to go out and make new friends. I barely leave the house because when I go into town, I feel as though everyone is judging me. When I do go out, I try not to smile or to talk towards other people as much as I can. I am 27, and I feel like my teeth are holding me back in life massively. I am terrified to get a job because I feel like my smile would make them feel like I was not a good candidate for the job. Basically, I have become a shell of the person I was just because of my teeth. I am willing to do anything just to feel like I can actually progress in life and not feel like I am holding my son back because of what my teeth look like. I would give anything for a chance at feeling like I can live my life again.
Shawna and Courtney Tell Us Why They Are Good Candidates for the Second Chance Program
Shawna: Trying to explain why I am a good candidate for this program brings tears to my eyes because I am not sure anything I could write here would truly express how it would feel to be given a second chance to smile. I never imagined being in this spot so young nor did I ever imagine being given a chance for a second chance, but here I am. So, I feel that I am a very good candidate for the Second Chance program because this would be a life-changing experience for me. With four kids and being a stay-at-home mom (just for now because kids are young), money is a huge issue at our house. This would help me be able to gain the smile that I want and need and still keep my kids’ college funds in place. This would honestly give me a second chance to live life to the fullest again and enjoy smiling.
Courtney: I cannot currently afford to get help or treatment. If I was given the chance to have my teeth restored, I could actually eat without worrying if the food is going to hurt me. I could apply for jobs and not worry about whether my teeth will hold me back in interviews. I could take my son to birthday parties and parks without feeling as if every parent wonders if my son is going to turn out the same way. I could honestly just go into town without feeling the stares burning into me. I could try on cute clothes instead of avoiding them because I don’t want the attention to be drawn to my teeth. Overall, it would greatly improve my life. I feel like I could actually have a life for once and not feel like I have to hide from everything because of how my teeth currently are.
If you or someone you know is interested in donating other services to the Second Chance program to help the recipient improve their life, please click here for more information.
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