A Smile Can Light Up the World

All I want for Christmas… is my two front teeth.  This popular song lyric was written by Don Gardner in 1944.  He was an elementary music teacher.  The idea for the song was conceived when Don was asked to write a something for a holiday concert.  As Don looked at his students he noticed that so many were missing their two front teeth.  This inspired his song which later went on to be recorded by countless artists over the years. 

When we think of this lyric we often think of small children who have lost their first teeth and are waiting for their second set to come in, but what if there was not a second tooth there to come in?  What if you were born with a condition that for one reason or another made it so those second teeth were never formed?  This is the situation in the case of my 19 year old daughter Alessandra (Ally) Mazur.  She has a deletion on the long arm of one of her 18th Chromosomes.  This is called Chromosome 18q- Syndrome (https://www.chromosome18.org/).

As a result of this Chromosome deletion Ally was born with many congenital anomalies.  She had a cleft palate, vertical talus, an atrial septal defect, a hemi vertebrae, delayed myelination of the brain, very narrow ear canals, a conductive hearing loss that requires her to wear two behind the ear hearing aids and several autoimmune disorders.  She has had multiple surgeries over her 19 years.  She works hard to do what comes easy to many.  Through the years we have been amazed by Ally's motivation and spirit.  For someone who we thought might not walk at birth, she has played basketball, field hockey, lacrosse and even ran cross country in high school. She is a dedicated student, who graduated high school and is attending Nashua Community College.  Not to mention, she is just an amazing person, and my inspiration.

All of this information aside, I am writing to you today to ask for your help.  I have done fundraising for the Chromosome 18 registry for the past 16 years but I have never asked for personal support for my daughter Ally.  I am asking today because Ally needs two of her front teeth.  As a result of her condition she never had two of her front teeth, numbers 6 and 10.  When Ally was young this was important but not as impactful as it is today for a young woman of 19 years old, who is struggling with self-esteem, finding her place in the world and looking for her first job. 

I have looked into so many options to find the best solution for the implant surgery and crowns that Ally will need.  I started with my local orthodontist and saw a local oral surgeon.  I was horrified to hear some of the costs ranging upwards to $20, 000.  I then began to look at options involving Tufts dental school with hopes that prices might be more reasonable there, but was quick to realize that the commute to the appointments coupled with the follow up and numerous people involved would never be a workable situation.  I then turned to Boston Children’s Hospital on a chance that their oral surgery department would do implants.  I was thrilled to find that their Waltham office was a place that could handle Ally’s care for the implant piece of her surgery.  As for the crowns that would still be done by our local dentist.  Boston Children’s Hospital has been incredible working with me to make the most of our insurance coverage for these surgeries but we are still looking at expenses near $10,000.  This is money that we do not have.  Unfortunately with a family of 6 and two who will be in college in the fall money is sparse.

Any and all help for Ally’s cause is appreciated in ways that you could never imagine.  Your donation will complete her smile and make a lifetime of difference.  With your support we can help Ally to smile with pride and face the next phase of her life with confidence.

  • Jennifer Medico  
    • $30 
    • 35 mos
  • Ellen Bellinger 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Ryan Loi 
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
  • Crista Burrel 
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
  • Bev John 
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
See all


Lisa Tortolano Mazur 
Amherst, NH
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