Help Nikki keep singing

Donations will now be going toward goal #2.

Hello all.
My name is Dominique, most people call me Nikki.  I am here to raise money so that I can get orthodontic treatment (braces) to fix structural issues that I have had pretty much my whole life.
To know anything about me is to know that I love to sing.  Ever since I can remember it has been a passion.  It's truly one of the few things in life where I can experience full joy, but over the years the problems with my mouth and jaw have have gotten progressively worse and are now at a point where they hinder my ability to  sing  and perform other basic functions freely.


My first time experiencing any kind of symptoms was when I was in grade school. I started experiencing headaches on a regular basis. I was in desperate need of braces when I was a kid but, unfortunately, my family just didn't have the resources to make that happen. So, I grew up learning how to deal with and hide the problem.
By my second year of college things began getting worse.  I often experienced muscle pain in my jaw and I went through a long phase where my jaw would get misaligned and stuck open at random moments... usually at night when I slept (and yes it was always as frightening as it sounds).

The severity of my symptoms usually ebbs and flows in long phases.  I've spent the majority of my adult life without dental insurance, let alone the means to afford braces, but up until now I have been able to manage despite my symptoms.

Unfortunately the condition has, once again, gotten worse and what I have been experiencing over the last year and a half has been, by far, the worst yet... mostly because of the effect it has on my day to day life and my ability to use my mouth.

A recent consultation with an orthodontist confirmed my four major issues:

-Tongue thrust: (dysfunctional muscle pattern in the tongue that causes it to push forward on my teeth when I swallow and speak. )
-Openbite:  (where the upper and lower front teeth do not come together when my mouth/jaw is closed)
-Mandibular prognathism:  (where the lower jaw outgrows the upper, resulting in an extended chin and a crossbite)
-TMD: (problems with the the jaw joint and the muscles in the face that control chewing and moving the jaw.)

Well... firstly, and most concerning for me at the moment, is the effect on my speech and ability to chew.
In my natural speech, I talk with a lisp, that has been the case for as long as I've had these problems.  If you know me personally, and you've never heard me talk with a lisp it's because I taught myself how to talk without it once I started being teased for my speech.  But it is there and it's a bit more difficult to hide these days.  After 20+ years I'm starting to experience a great deal of muscle fatigue and pain in my tongue and my right jaw. 
I cannot open my mouth up to it's full capacity anymore. All of this effects my speech, my singing (especially), and even my ability to chew. There's a lot of foods that I just don't even bother trying to eat anymore (i.e. anything really hard, crunchy, or requiring a lot of chewing... like meat).

Secondly, while these issues (TMD especially) do directly effect my jaw joints , they also effect the surrounding muscles that support.  This means that I experience a great deal of tension and pain in my neck and shoulders,  I have constant pain and ringing in my right ear, and some muscles on the right side of my face have now become visibly fatigued and weaker. (what started as occasional eye spasms has now become just a full on lazy eye lid.)  Unfortunately, I've also started getting migraines again on an almost daily basis.

-The most obvious step would be to donate.
I wish I didn't have to ask anyone for monetary assistance right now. Not because I am too proud, but because I know that we are all facing a future that is extremely uncertain and the stress of that is very valid.  If you are in a position to offer this kind of support, I assure you anything you can give will be greatly appreciated.
(I intend to do a cool little private virtual show for everyone that donates.)

I have two goals:
Goal #1: $1800.
This will cover the cost of getting my teeth ready for braces. Because of the wear and stress that my misaligned bite causes on my teeth I have had 2 molars brake in the last year and a half. (I know... just when you thought this couldn't get any worse) I have to get crowns for those two teeth before I am able to get my braces.

Donations will now be going toward goal #2.

Goal #2: $5700.
If I reach the first goal, anything over that will go toward the cost of the actual braces.  My treatment plan will involve about 22 months of full upper and lower braces, tongue spurs, and rubber bands.
(I will need jaw surgery after about a year with my braces... but that is a bridge to be crossed another day, hopefully with the help of whatever health insurance I have when that time comes)

-If you are not in a position to give monetarily, there are other things you can do.
I know it may sound simple but sharing this fundraiser would be a great way to offer support and can go a long way. (Who knows... maybe you know someone who knows someone that happens to be a orthodontist that can help me out.)
Sending positive messages, well wishes, and/or prayers are also very welcomed forms of support.

I would just like to wish all of you well and thank you, in advance, for your support in whatever way it comes.  I have been so blessed in my life (both in and out of the realm of music) to encounter many different people who have graciously extended helping hands and offered encouragements in so many different ways.  I am beyond thankful for that. All the best to you all.


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Dominique Reid 
North Wilkesboro, NC
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