Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mom Finds Joy in her Son's New Smile

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Rosa (name changed) was living in the United States for several years when she received the best news of her life: her teenage son, James was emigrating from Honduras to join her in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The sadness of their separation was over, but Rosa could see that James was struggling with his new life, especially in school. Dental care simply had not been available to him in Honduras, and he had lost his two front teeth at a young age due to severe rot. He struggled to enunciate English words and was frustrated and unhappy.

James is taking great care of his teeth now
with help from Catholic Charities'
dental clinic staff.
But Rosa would not give up. She took James to Catholic Charities' dental clinics, where he saw Dr. Kesha Stephenson, a volunteer dentist who did her pediatric residency work with Howard University at our dental clinic.

"Nearly all his teeth had cavities," said Dr. Stephenson, who worked with James over a series of visits. "It's quite common that in many parts of Latin America, limited access to care makes it very difficult to take care of your teeth."

James was fitted with a removable partial denture to replace his two front teeth, and at his mother's urging (he might say nagging!), began embracing his dental hygiene. It's made all the difference for him at school, Rosa said. 

"He is back to smiling his beautiful smile. I can tell he has so much more confidence now."

So many moms right here in our neighborhood are trying to care for their families in the face of tremendous challenges: poverty, homelessness, abuse, hunger, unemployment. Maybe, like Rosa, they don't have health insurance. Fortunately, we offer them a place to turn at their hour of need, regardless of their faith or background, and restore their hope for a brighter tomorrow. 

Please help mothers in our area who are in need or who are worried about providing for their children. Can you make a Mother's Day gift today in honor of your mom to help mothers and families? With your support, we can make sure that their child will always have a reason to smile. Please help now.