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This fundraiser ended on 07/01/12

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Help Merick and his family pay for life-changing dental surgery.

I'm Chelsea, and Merick is my boyfriend. I am a firm believer in the idea that without self-confidence, one cannot be truly happy or achieve their full potential in life. In Maslow's terms, self-esteem is the last barrier between a person and self-actualization. For most of us, gaining confidence is a simple matter of a new haircut, going to the gym, or buying a new outfit. For Merick, the final rung on the ladder to self-confidence is his smile.

Merick's smile is infectious, and is seen often due to his exceedingly friendly nature, but the real shame is that he hates to let it show. He has a pretty severe under-bite, or in the dentally correct terms, a negative overbite. This issue has hindered his ability to feel good about himself his whole life.

About a year ago, we went to the dentist to get a consult for Invisalign (invisible braces), He planned to make monthly payments and was determined to get the smile he'd always dreamed of. Unfortunately, and devastatingly to Merick, the dentist told him that in order for orthodontia to help him, he would first need a surgery to reposition his jaw. This, of course, would fall into the realm of maxillofacial surgery, not a cheap endeavor by any means. He gave up on the dream and has since resigned himself to the idea that he will never be able to fix this problem.

Yesterday (3/13) was Merick's birthday and I would love nothing more than to give him the gift of a smile that he can be proud of. I know that this is not medically urgent, and while his misaligned jaw can cause certain health problems, it is not life-threatening. However, Merick is one of the most generous, kind-hearted people I've ever had the pleasure to know, and I'd love to see some karma work its magic.

If you're from Reddit, thanks so much for even looking, and even more if you donated. I really hope this works!
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