gifts in action:

Amaia's Story

Eight year-old Amaia* came to Virginia with her family from Guatemala in search of a better life, but by the time she arrived she was experiencing constant dental pain. Out of concern for his daughter, Amaia's father consulted with a pediatric dental office. Their recommended treatment plan cost more than $4,000, far more than he could afford to pay as a day laborer. He grew more and more concerned as the pain was keeping Amaia from concentrating at school.

Everything changed when Amaia's family found Piedmont Regional Dental Clinic (PRDC), a nonprofit care provider that partners with America's ToothFairy to expand access to dental care for children in need. By her first appointment with PRDC, Amaia hadn't eaten in two days because her dental pain was too severe. The team discovered she needed five extractions, two stainless steel crowns, and composite fillings in two teeth.

Although PRDC could provide the care she needed for much less, Amaia's father still fell short to cover the cost of care. The staff at PRDC was concerned about the risk of further infection and poor nutrition if she could not receive the treatment she desperately needed. They reached out to us for help.

"Amaia, her siblings and parents came here looking for a better life," they told us. "They are doing their very best but simply can not afford the care that she needs. She desperately needs this dental care and is at great risk for health complications if she doesn't receive it. Beyond this, it is impacting her ability to be at school and engaged in learning which is critical to achieving the dream of a better future."

With help from MGE: Management Experts, we were happy to issue an In the Gap grant to help PRDC restore Amaia's smile to good health so she could thrive in her new homeland. Even better, by establishing a dental home at PRDC, Amaia can receive the routine care she needs to prevent further decay and set her up for better dental health outcomes. None of this could be possible without the support of generous donors like MGE, who give to help children rise above challenging circumstances like these to have healthy, happy smiles.

To find out how to become an In the Gap donor, visit the In the Gap program page.

*Patient's name has been changed to protect their privacy. Not all grantees have provided photos. In some cases, stock photos are used to represent a patient’s gender, age and ethnicity if known.

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