The Georgia School of Orthodontics is proud to present three deserving Georgia children with the orthodontic care they desperately need at no cost to them. Whether they need braces, retainers, surgeries (or more) over any length of time, we promise to help boost their confidence by giving them the smile they always dreamed of.
We reviewed hundreds of nomination entries and after thoughtful deliberation, we chose three children who truly inspired us and whose stories touched our hearts. Their headshots and original nomination stories are included below.
“Eli is a bright 14 year old who is kind and compassionate to others. He is also outrageously funny –his drama teacher even described him as a young Steve Martin! He needs braces to straighten his teeth. Not only did he inherit his father’s overbite, his teeth are quite crooked in front. He also has a yellow discoloration to his teeth, so it would be helpful to have at least the overbite and crookedness straightened out, which would increase his self-confidence. Despite his outgoing personality, he almost never shows his teeth when he smiles. Eli lives with both his parents and three siblings.
His father is a retired soldier and though he works full-time, he struggles with PTSD that has interfered with his ability to work side jobs to help finance something like braces. His mom has lupus, and only recently began a part-time freelancing position after a year of being unemployed. That period of income loss set the family behind financially and it’s going to take a while to catch up. That could mean Eli waiting yet another year or more to begin the process with braces. So winning this contest would be a true blessing to him and the family. Thanks for your consideration!”
“Lia is an 11 year old sweet girl, who is becoming more and more aware of her crooked teeth and therefore her not so perfect smile. She is already dealing with the hardships and struggles of being in a new school and around cruel kids who critique everything about her; why should her teeth be a negative talking point? She comes home and talks about how ugly she feels and how she hates going to school at times.
I would like help in her getting braces for her teeth which I know could have a very positive effect on her in the long run. I have noticed that when she smiles she refuses to show her teeth, letting me know she is quiet uncomfortable with her appearance. She has asked for braces in the past but we have told her when we can afford them we will help her attain them. Well that time has not come as of yet. I ask for any assistance you can offer to us.”
“Dana is my daughter, she is 12 years old. Since she was born I have told her she is the smile that brightens my life and the life of so many others. I’m convinced that her smile will open many doors for her. I heard on Mariela Romero’s TV show that we as parents could nominate our children, that is why I’m doing this.
Dana is a smiling girl, a very positive child. She never gives up when she faces a challenge, and I love that about her, I learn so much from her on this aspect of her life. In spite of being the “smiling girl,” Dana doesn’t have a smile as she wishes she would have. Since she was little, she has suffered from dental issues because she didn’t lose her teeth when she was supposed to. New teeth would come out when she still had her baby teeth. She had a double line of teeth, the baby ones and the new ones, and she had that for a very long time. She was bullied for it and other kids will call her names like “shark girl.” At this moment, Dana has some teeth on top of others.
I’m confident that Dana will be forever grateful if this opportunity is given to her, she would value tremendously to be chosen, because that way the “smiling girl” will have a chance to show off her smile without any fear or embarrassment. I’d like to share also that Dana has a severe hearing problem. She lost her hearing on the right ear from unknown reasons. We took her to several doctors but her case is one of the few that can’t be solved with surgery, because that wouldn’t improve her hearing at all. It seems that for Dana, not hearing well “is not a big deal,” but it is, because not being able to hear has had negative repercussions at school. Her grades started to fall and it caused some teachers to label her as “distracted” in spite of them knowing about her hearing issue.
Dana didn’t have a lot of friends when she was little. She didn’t make a good friend until she was in elementary school. Now Dana wears a hearing device that helps her. Her grades at school are improving and she can better understand the instructions given by the teachers.
In spite of all the challenges, Dana has been always positive. She is very empathic with people with disabilities. Something she likes a lot is to hang out with girls that are visually impaired that live on a shelter house. Unfortunately, I don’t have the means to cover the orthodontic treatment Dana needs, I’m the bread winner in my household, my income provides for rent, food, clothing, utilities and basic needs.
Dana has some other health issues – she has myopia that is severe for her age. She wears glasses, and we still don’t know if one day she can be a candidate for eye surgery. For Dana, her smile is very important and she is very excited and hopeful for this chance.
More about Dana: She loves animals. She spends a lot of her time with our two dogs and our cat Mitch. She volunteers to pet sit for friends. She also loves to cook and bake. One of her dreams is to post videos in You Tube where she appears cooking easy recipes for kids her age. She also loves to baby sit. Recently, she discovered she likes to paint, I believe she has a talent for it. Thank you so much for reading Dana’s case and for any help you can provide to her.”