From “too afraid to smile” to “shiny pearly whites,” a dental makeover turned a self-conscious teenager into a strong, confident young lady.
Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, 17-year-old Katherine took medication and participated in breathing exercises daily. Despite this obstacle, she pursued her passion for smiling and cheerleading with extreme stamina and determination.
Katherine’s friends describe her as always laughing with a smile on her face. Her face would light up when she smiled, but it made her feel self-conscious due to her dental anomaly -- she was missing four permanent teeth (which she was told will never appear). “I am a cheerleader and have to smile and yell out many cheers. But I am always afraid my teeth will fall out if I don’t keep my mouth shut. My dental situation is holding me back in other ways, especially socially,” she explained.
Katherine’s wish was to have a dental makeover. Dr. James Rogers, a periodontics specialist, agreed to do the makeover that Katherine needed. Katherine had baby teeth extracted and titanium implants put in her gums. Once the healing was complete, she had temporary crowns inserted over the implants while permanent crowns were being made. As she looked in the mirror for the first time, she gushed and could not hold in her excitement. “I am so overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown to me to make my wish so extra special.”
Katherine’s wish celebration took place in March 2013 and after a brief check-up at Dr. Rogersʼ office, she was whisked away for a full day of pampering. Her first stop was at Canyon Ranch Spa Club® at The Venetian, where she enjoyed a massage, manicure and pedicure. If that was not enough excitement, she was escorted to Cristophe™ Hair Salon at the MGM Grand, for a professional haircut and styling by Breanna Stubbs. Katherine was surprised and delighted to learn that Breanna was a graduate of Euphoria School of Cosmetology, where Katherine dreamed of attending. Breanna gave her heaps of tips about the program and teachers and even encouraged Katherine to work hard in order to get placed in a high-end salon.
Looking quite gorgeous, Katherine was driven to Linda Q Photography where she enjoyed an hour long model and head shot photo session. “I felt girlie in my pink dress and black jacket. When I changed into jeans and a sleeveless top, I really felt like a model!” she exclaimed. If there was anyone else who was impacted by this wish, it was Katherine’s mother. She was blown away by the generosity of everyone involved and now plans on becoming a cosmetologist and going to a beauty school in Las Vegas.
Share the Power of a Wish®
Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada grants the wishes of eligible children diagnosed with a critical illness medical condition in the Southern Nevada area. We believe that a wish experience can be a game changer. This one belief guides us. It inspires up to grant wishes that change the lives of the children we serve.