I survived! Life went on, I grew up, I graduated. I fell in love, I smiled a lot! I felt blessed for each day life gave me, including job opportunities and a wonderful husband. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of previous treatments; steroids (prednisone), chemotherapy, and radiation used to treat my cancers, is an entirely different disease called avascular necrosis** (AVN is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply often associated with long-term use of high-dose steroid medications and radiation.) It can cause tiny breaks usually in the joints, leading to the bones eventual collapse.
In my early twenties it became clear that I do in fact, have AVN. Both my teeth and my joints had begun to deteriorate. In the 15 years since then, I’ve had more than half a dozen surgeries to repair and replace my knees, hips and shoulders, and I’m likely to look forward to more in the future. The same drugs and treatments that saved my life, sadly have left me disabled, in pain, and worst of all, I’m ashamed to smile.
No matter what I was going through in life, I have always found a way to smile. Now, I am too self-conscious to. Between the condition of my bones and the state of deterioration of my teeth, the best option for me it to have all my teeth removed and to get a full set of dentures. This is going to cost about $10,000. Aside from matters of simple vanity of decaying teeth, there are serious health risks too. Because I live in a world where a simple hug or a handshake can be excruciatingly painful. I really need my smile…Can you please help me?
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