$23,886 of $52,000
288 donations

This fundraiser ended on 09/30/14

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Disabled teen Katie Westbrook needs to have ALL her teeth replaced, but her syndrome makes this hard. Help give her a new smile by donating!

18-year-old Katie Westbrook has overcome one challenge after another due to a rare genetic syndrome, including heart defects, blindness, and learning disabilities; now this syndrome has caused the rapid decay of all her teeth, and if they are not replaced soon, Katie could contract an infection which could potentially go straight to her compromised heart and kill her. Her heart and dental conditions mean that replacing her teeth is a major undertaking. Please help give Katie a new smile by donating towards the extraordinary cost of dental work.

Katie was born with OFCD, an inherited genetic syndrome. Beginning with open-heart surgery at just seven weeks old, Katie has bravely faced numerous hospitalizations, painful medical procedures, countless hours in doctor’s offices, and every kind of therapy. At age nine, a staph infection destroyed the vision in her right eye.

After that loss, life was never the same, but Katie was a trooper and stayed determined to make the best of it. Always pushing her limits, she has tried skiing and whitewater rafting, played soccer in a special-needs league, gone horseback riding at Cowgirl Camp, volunteered at a local animal shelter, performed in summer theatre, taken dancing lessons, and been a camp counselor-in-training. In high school, she has been in her school choir and student leadership.

Early in 2013, Katie’s life was turned upside down again when she had a pancreatic tumor (benign insulinoma) that required a huge, invasive surgery involving the removal of several organs, re-routing of remaining parts, and ten hours under the knife. Katie’s surgery was successful, but it took many months to heal. She lost a lot of weight, and missed a lot of school, but that wasn’t the worst yet to come.

During those months of recovery, glaucoma in Katie’s one remaining eye spiked so high that she lost the remainder of what vision she had. She suddenly found that she could no longer see anything, and her slim body became covered in bruises as she crashed into poles at school and furniture at home. Every meal was a challenge; she could no longer match her clothes; she couldn’t see the computer. She became very sad, and it broke our hearts to watch her suffer. But by Christmas, in typical Katie style, she was out fondling the poor Christmas tree determined to hang the ornaments and drape the garland no matter how long it took!

Now Katie needs a whole new set of teeth because the ones she has are rotten! She must have oral surgery to extract them all, plus bone grafts to build up the bone mass for implant anchors and a full set of permanent dentures. Neither medical nor dental insurance will cover these ... and the costs are made much higher because of Katie’s particular cardiac and surgical challenges. As a high school graduation gift this May, we want to give Katie the confidence to smile! Please join us in our efforts to raise money for Katie’s new teeth. Your generosity is sincerely appreciated by Katie’s family and friends, who all want to help Katie stay healthy and feel good about the brave and beautiful young woman she is! WE LOVE YOU, KATIE!

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