Shawn Needs Dental Surgery

$40,891 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 967 people in 45 months
CAMPAIGN OVER!

I am completely blown away by the response. I'll be sending out an update later today but I quickly wanted to say:

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!!

I've lost my smile. I want it back. You can help.

Hi. My name is Shawn King. I've been the host of an Apple/Mac focused "internet broadcast" for more than 21 years. It's called Your Mac Life. I'm also a photography instructor, focused on helping beginners learn how to take better photographs no matter what camera they have. You can see some of my photographs on my Flickr site.

I love doing what I do, even though it doesn't make a lot of money. I love talking - both "at people" on various podcasts and to them in person when doing photowalks or my "Tips and Tricks"  classes either online or in person. 

My only real job skill is talking. Luckily, I'm really good at it. :) I love talking to people. I love entertaining people and making them laugh. I'm really good at putting people at ease and I'm really good at teaching people about photography.

So, when I can't, it's devastating both personally and financially. And that's what's happening now. I literally can't open my mouth enough to talk.

Just when I thought life was starting to be a little less bad for me, it kicks me in the teeth....literally...

This past week, I did that thing almost everyone dreads - I went to the dentist. But, because of my financial situation, it was my first dentist's visit in over ten years. I've spent the past ten years in constant mouth pain either from overall gum disease or the actual searing pain of infected teeth and gums. So yeah - I knew it wasn't going to be good.

Over the weekend, a loose front tooth finally fell out. I look like a hillbilly (no offence to my hillbilly friends) and would be too embarrassed to appear on Your Mac Life video looking like this. So we made an appointment to see a dentist.

The good news is, the dentist didn't charge me for the appointment. The bad news is, I have "advanced periodontal disease" - basically, I've lost so much bone in my upper jaw, my teeth don't have anything to hold on to. So they will continue to fall out unless I do something about it.

Unfortunately, that "something" is pulling out ALL my upper teeth (well, the ones that haven't already fallen out) and putting in implants - at least six of them costing $2,500 each. That's a minimum of $15,000.

Like most of you, I don't have that kind of money just lying around. I'm also unlikely to ever be able to afford the procedure. So my teeth will just continue to get worse and worse and eventually, fall out.

But, before they fall out, I’ll have many days like today - infected teeth and gums causing so much pain I can’t open my mouth, let alone talk…

As you can understand, this is also psychologically devastating. I've been struggling with this news for the past four days. I often struggle with depression in various ways and at various levels. Just the thought of someone pulling out all of my teeth has had me on the verge of tears for days.

It's also completely my own fault for not taking care of myself. Even though I'm a regular brusher, a twice daily regime is not enough, especially for people like me who are in the "risk group" and are more likely than others to contract this disease.

We are looking at other options - dentures, trips out of country to other dentists, local dental colleges where the work can be done cheaper, etc. But regardless of the decision made and the procedure done, it all costs money. Money I simply don't have.

Several friends have suggested I start this campaign. Those of you who know me know how hard this is. Many of you have (rightfully) pointed out I need to "swallow your pride and set up that website to get funds".

And they are right. So here I am.

I don't know if this campaign will work and I honestly don't hold out a lot of hope for it but every little bit can and will help.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this.
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Update 4
Posted by Shawn King King
45 months ago
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FULLY FUNDED...

I write those words with a bit of a tear in my eye. I can't begin to thank each and every one of you enough.

When I started this campaign, I was hoping to get a few thousand dollars from family, friends and podcast listeners. Maybe enough to cover some of the initial costs. Then I’d scrounge around, eat Ramen noodles, sell a kidney, etc. to make up the difference.

But thanks to the amazing generosity of people like you, I don't have to sell anything. I don't have to eat Ramen (unless I want to - I actually like Ramen as a (voluntary) snack) and I can keep both of my kidneys! :)

I can now explore all the options for dental work, not just the cheapest one. For that, I’m grateful to each of you, no matter how large or small your contribution was. They were all given out of a sense of caring and wanting to help a fellow human being, whether you knew him or not.

As my girlfriend Kim said, “This has renewed my faith in the human spirit”. Mine too.

The process has now begun - I just came from the dentist this morning. The best news he gave me was he feels there *is* enough jaw bone to enable implants (as opposed to dentures). Without your generosity, that wouldn’t even be an option. It is now.

I go in tomorrow morning to begin the process of extracting (!) the bad teeth and preparing my upper jaw for first a temporary partial denture, then a better fitting “permanent” denture. In 6 months, I’ll go back in to start the process for getting implants - another long and painful process but, in the long run, the best solution.

As I consulted with the dentist, he said something that really struck home. “People avoid coming to the dentist but you’re going to have to see us eventually. You can either come in every 6 months and let us take care of you properly or you can wait, as you did, for ten years or longer and we have to pull out all of your teeth”.

My message to you all is - SEE YOUR DENTIST. Trust me, I’m in for 6 months to a year of a lot of pain. As of tomorrow at around 9am, I’ll have three upper teeth in my head. You can’t imagine the embarrassment, the shame, the humiliation of that. I’m going to be a hermit for the next 14 days because I’ll be too ashamed to go out in public, not to mention I’ve started searching Google for “Food you can eat with only three upper teeth…."

I’d hate for any of you to have to go through this. Make a dentist appointment RIGHT NOW.

This will be my last update on the GoFundMe page. But, if you’d like to keep track of me through this process or ask questions about it, please let me know. Send an email to “shawnupdates@yml.me” and I’ll add you to the list (don’t worry - your email address will not be used for any other purposes) and send out periodic updates.

Again - thanks to each and every one of you. It doesn’t matter if you donated five dollars or hundreds of dollars. Every single dollar counted and is greatly appreciated.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Sincerely,
Shawn King
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Update 3
Posted by Shawn King King
45 months ago
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Kim: "OMG I LOVE YOUR NERDS!"

Kim (my lovely girlfriend) and I had gone out on Thursday to the gym. When we got home, my Twitter DM's and iMessages had blown up.

"OMG Have you seen Daring Fireball?"

Oh, Jesus I thought....what has John Gruber gotten himself into now?

"He mentioned you!"

Oh crap...what have I done to piss him off *this* time?

I quickly type Daring Fireball's URL ( http://daringfireball.net/linked/2015/04/23/shawn-king-needs-some-help) and see:

"SHAWN KING NEEDS SOME HELP"

Ha ha...that's my name too. I wonder why he's talking about Larry King's wife?

"My friend Shawn King — longtime Mac/Apple writer/broadcaster and host of Your Mac Life for 21 years — has hit a run of bad luck."

H O L Y C R A P.....

He's writing about me!

It was a wonderful piece. I'm amazed, humbled and gratified that John took the time to even notice my problems, let alone mention them, let alone write so much and so well about it. His final paragraph literally had me in tears and Kim exclaiming her love for our little Mac Community.

But then....

Before we had left in the afternoon, I checked the amount raised on this site. It was a little over $5,000.

John posted his piece about an hour before we got home. When I look at the site, the number of donations had doubled as well as the amount raised.

AND IT JUST KEPT CLIMBING....

I raised the target three times in the next three hours. It was a tsunami of donations coming in from the Daring Fireball Army. I literally couldn't keep up with the Thank You notes (I *just* caught up today - if you didn't get one, my apologies as some may have fallen through the cracks) and still haven't written the ones to the folks who donated for the photography classes (I'll get to those before the weekend is over).

I can't begin to express my gratitude to John for his wonderful post or to the Daring Fireball audience, few of whom know me from a hole in the ground. But, because they have such trust in Gruber (and I heard this a lot from donators), "If John says he's a friend of your and you deserve the help, then I'm going to help." Let's hope John always uses his powers for the side of good, not evil. :)

When I initially started this campaign, I thought I might be able to raise enough money for the cheapest possible option. But thanks to the kindness of so many of you, less than 24 hours later, we can now look at the expensive and better options to help me get my smile back.

I can't thank you all enough.
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Update 2
Posted by Shawn King King
45 months ago
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What a great 72 hours this has been....

In the 72 hours prior to Monday morning, life sucked HARD. But now, thanks to so many of you, it's getting much better. The light at the end of the tunnel is no longer that of an oncoming TRAIN.

I've heard from several people about various procedures and what to expect. That's gone a long way to alleviating some uncertainty. But it's still going to be a long, drawn out, *painful* process.

But trust me - it's definitely gotten psychologically easier due to the wonderful support, emotionally and financially, so many of you have offered.

Let's have some fun now!

I found this cool iOS and Android phone app called WeSnap:
"Create amazing split photos with anyone in the world.

Take a half photo, share with your friends, they snap the other half. Have awesome photos with your friends even though you are not together."

The idea is, you take a photo of a subject, place, thing, person, whatever and others "complete" it.

You can grab the app at http://wesnap.co. I am "shawnking" on it and you can see my half of the photo here - http://wesnap.co/h/HzbLdsjatT.

I don't know if this little experiment will work but I thought it might be fun to try.

Again - thank you all for your support!
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Update 1
Posted by Shawn King King
45 months ago
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Wow.

Just...wow....

In less than 24 hours, the response has been amazing...wonderful...heartening....humbling....gratifying...

Thank you all so much. I especially want to thank all of you for the notes I've received via email, Twitter, Facebook, etc., wishing me well.

We are far enough along now I can start making (and paying for!) appointments for second and third opinions to see what my options are and what they will cost.

Your support has helped immeasurably in alleviating some of the stress involved in this. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.
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$40,891 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 967 people in 45 months
Created April 17, 2015
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$200
Anonymous
44 months ago
MD
$50
Matt Duffy
45 months ago

Sorry for being late but better late than never.

PD
$50
Paul Driver
45 months ago

Sorry I got in on this a bit late. I know you're "fully funded" but you never know when there may be unexpected expenses.

CM
$10
COLIN MANIKOTH
45 months ago
MH
$5
Mike hoitomt
45 months ago
$20
Anonymous
45 months ago
$25
Anonymous
45 months ago
DS
$20
David Schultz
45 months ago

Just best wishes and good luck. Keep moving you stubborn blue-noser.

$200
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45 months ago
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45 months ago
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