From our Spring 2021 Newsletter (find a full PDF here).
In 2020, 59-year-old Jaime was diagnosed with Laryngeal cancer and underwent tracheotomy surgery. To stop the spread of the cancer, Jaime also needed radiation treatment. Because of the infection in his broken and decayed teeth he was denied dental clearance for this life saving treatment.
As a former dishwasher who could no longer work because of his illness, Jaime was living with his daughter and her family. Barely making ends meet, neither Jaime nor his family could afford the dental treatment necessary for him to be cleared for radiation.
Desperate and with nowhere to turn, the Dental Lifeline Network- Wyoming was able to step in and provide the treatment needed through their Donated Dental Services (DDS) program.
Dental Lifeline Network and the Wyoming Dental Association are founding partners of Dental Lifeline Network – Wyoming. They use a network of over 100 volunteer dentists and nine dental labs to provide dental care – free of charge, to the elderly, disabled, and those who are medically compromised and have no other way to get help.
Because of the $5,000 grant from WYCF’s Casper Local Board to DDS, the group was able to provide Jaime with more than $16,000 in donated treatment he needed. The support doesn’t end there though. After he completes radiation treatment, DDS will match him with a volunteer dentist who will create both top and bottom dentures for Jaime.
“My dad has never been treated like this” says Jaime’s daughter. “We are just very grateful that he will have teeth again because he is fighting with everything to beat the cancer, so it means a lot to us.”
Over the last year, Dr. Mark O’ Farrell, Chair of the Dental Lifeline Network – Wyoming, has seen the program continue to have significant and often life-changing impacts on patients.
“Some of Wyoming’s most vulnerable residents endure unimaginable pain and embarrassment from serious dental problems in addition to the other physical and financial challenges they experience as a result of their ages, disabilities, and health,” says Dr. O’Farrell.
DDS ensures that their patients have the ability to eat and communicate normally, to live without debilitating oral pain and chronic infection, and to smile brightly.