Shawn Needs Dental Surgery


I am completely blown away by the response. I'll be sending out an update later today but I quickly wanted to say:


I've lost my smile. I want it back. You can help.

Hi. My name is Shawn King. I've been the host of an Apple/Mac focused "internet broadcast" for more than 21 years. It's called Your Mac Life. I'm also a photography instructor, focused on helping beginners learn how to take better photographs no matter what camera they have. You can see some of my photographs on my Flickr site.

I love doing what I do, even though it doesn't make a lot of money. I love talking - both "at people" on various podcasts and to them in person when doing photowalks or my "Tips and Tricks"  classes either online or in person. 

My only real job skill is talking. Luckily, I'm really good at it. :) I love talking to people. I love entertaining people and making them laugh. I'm really good at putting people at ease and I'm really good at teaching people about photography.

So, when I can't, it's devastating both personally and financially. And that's what's happening now. I literally can't open my mouth enough to talk.

Just when I thought life was starting to be a little less bad for me, it kicks me in the teeth....literally...

This past week, I did that thing almost everyone dreads - I went to the dentist. But, because of my financial situation, it was my first dentist's visit in over ten years. I've spent the past ten years in constant mouth pain either from overall gum disease or the actual searing pain of infected teeth and gums. So yeah - I knew it wasn't going to be good.

Over the weekend, a loose front tooth finally fell out. I look like a hillbilly (no offence to my hillbilly friends) and would be too embarrassed to appear on Your Mac Life video looking like this. So we made an appointment to see a dentist.

The good news is, the dentist didn't charge me for the appointment. The bad news is, I have "advanced periodontal disease" - basically, I've lost so much bone in my upper jaw, my teeth don't have anything to hold on to. So they will continue to fall out unless I do something about it.

Unfortunately, that "something" is pulling out ALL my upper teeth (well, the ones that haven't already fallen out) and putting in implants - at least six of them costing $2,500 each. That's a minimum of $15,000.

Like most of you, I don't have that kind of money just lying around. I'm also unlikely to ever be able to afford the procedure. So my teeth will just continue to get worse and worse and eventually, fall out.

But, before they fall out, I’ll have many days like today - infected teeth and gums causing so much pain I can’t open my mouth, let alone talk…

As you can understand, this is also psychologically devastating. I've been struggling with this news for the past four days. I often struggle with depression in various ways and at various levels. Just the thought of someone pulling out all of my teeth has had me on the verge of tears for days.

It's also completely my own fault for not taking care of myself. Even though I'm a regular brusher, a twice daily regime is not enough, especially for people like me who are in the "risk group" and are more likely than others to contract this disease.

We are looking at other options - dentures, trips out of country to other dentists, local dental colleges where the work can be done cheaper, etc. But regardless of the decision made and the procedure done, it all costs money. Money I simply don't have.

Several friends have suggested I start this campaign. Those of you who know me know how hard this is. Many of you have (rightfully) pointed out I need to "swallow your pride and set up that website to get funds".

And they are right. So here I am.

I don't know if this campaign will work and I honestly don't hold out a lot of hope for it but every little bit can and will help.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this.
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Shawn King 
Chilliwack, BC