We all hope you are having a great day. My name is Brianna and I am the cousin of Kirstin Wobig - a nineteen-year-old artistically talented woman who lives in Finneytown, Ohio.
At the age of three, Kirstin was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma (an aggressive bone cancer) in her jaw. Her physician was able to perform a series of revolutionary radiation and surgical treatments to remove her cancer. Being cured came with a price, however. Most of Kirstin's right jaw, musculature, teeth etc. were removed in the process. After extensive physical therapy, Kirstin has only been able to open her jaw approximately 1/4 of an inch since the age of four which has limited her eating to small bites of her favorite foods and sips of beverages.
Since that time she's grown up with an amazing and supportive family. She has been able to explore her passions in art, theatre, and dance. You can find her practicing color guard, listening to Disney music, playing with her dogs or younger brother, and sketching some amazing pieces. Other times she is making personalized jewelry or painting the nails of her older sister and mother (who have been with her since the beginning).
But, during that time, the question of whether or not she was going to get reconstructive surgery to open her jaw continued to linger. At eighteen-years-old, right after high school graduation (graduating with honors I may add), she chose to fly back to Portland to receive a life-changing surgery performed by Dr. Dierks, Cheng, and Patel in June of 2017. This was not an easy decision as she knew she would have several surgeries within the course of the next year. She postponed her dream to pursue a college degree - with an art focus - to get the surgery.
In June, these physicians removed her fibula in her lower leg, then it was cut to form a match with her left jaw and placed as her right jaw. In the process, the remainder of Kirstin's teeth were extracted. After spending a couple days in the ICU and lingering days with the feeding tube, she switched to a liquid diet. She was with her family in Oregon for about a month who were there for her recovery.
She then went back to her hometown, Ohio, where she recovered with more of her immediate family by her side and switched to a soft food diet. Even with a recent surgery, Kirstin was still motivated to go on a mission trip to serve others who were in need and continued to do the things she loves.
But wait, there is more. This beautiful woman's surgeries are not over. And this is where you all come in.
Kirstin just received a second surgery in January, which reshaped her jaw to make room for personalized dentures. Within the next eight weeks, she will be receiving personalized dentures. Her family must pay $5,000 dollars out of pocket for these dentures - in full - within the next eight weeks.
And then she will receive another series of surgeries to receive actual implants. This can cost upwards of $30,000-40,000. We need your help to raise this money! Even $5 will help.
By the end of these surgeries, Kirstin's life will be changed. She will be able to open her jaw and chew food with actual pearly whites before heading off to college! This woman has undergone more emotional and physical challenges than most of us ever will in a lifetime. Yet, she has found ways to express herself and find beauty in so many things.
Let's give this amazing woman a bigger smile and a working jaw!
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- Maggie Laird
- Andrew Ransom
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