My story begins in 1980 when I was just 11 and experienced what I call a "Blessing in Disguise with Serious Challenges". I was playing hide and seek with my younger sister and as I was escaping from my hiding place under a pool table, I whacked my head on the table. Immediately a severe headache occurred and shortly afterwards a large knot formed on my head.
Soon I was undergoing emergency surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. A tube was placed in my head to drain the Cerebral Spinal Fluid build-up produced by the injury-induced blood clot which had caused me to fall into a coma.
I spent two weeks in the Pediatric ICU at MUSC regaining my strength before the Neurosurgeons removed the blood clot. During surgery, they noticed some 'abnormal' tissue in my head. It was a brain tumor and the surgeons removed as much as they safely could. Although the tumor was benign, I had to undergo radiation therapy every day for six months!
Blessing in Disguise: The severe head trauma led to the discovery of an asymptomatic brain tumor which was successfully treated therefore I am alive! Praise God!
Radiation Saves Locally BUT Radiation Destroys Globally!
Serious Challenge #1: As is common with radiation treatments, all my hair fell out. 40 years later, I battle the effects the radiation has had leaving me with extremely thin hair.
Serious Challenge #2: Although I practice good oral hygiene, I have suffered multiple dental problems for most of my life. My teeth chip and crack off with little to no stress and I often get sores in my mouth for no apparent reason. Dental specialists confirmed that the radiation caused my dental issues because the radiation destroyed my salivary glands.
Dental specialists now recommend I have all my teeth removed and replaced with implant-secured dentures. These procedures are estimated to cost as much as $70,000 which dental insurance will not cover. Because this expensive treatment exceeds what we can personally afford, I am asking for contributions through this Go Fund Me Campaign. I am deeply grateful for any way you can help me get my smile back!
- Martin Mongiello
- Karen Woodman
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