A mother age 33 who is suffering from Langerhans cell histiocytosis has been told she will die in the next year. Her biggest hope is that she can raise enough money for dentures so that she can pose for a “happy” family picture with her sons before she dies.
A Rare, Devastating Disease
Langerhans cell histiocytosis is a rare disease in which Langerhans cells, abnormal white blood cells, proliferate and spread through the body, causing lesions and swelling, which can lead to the destruction of organs and tissues.
This woman was diagnosed at age 20, after she suffered two collapsed lungs. She is the only woman known to bear children with this condition. Her two sons are 9 and 10.
The Destruction of Her Smile
In Langerhans cell histiocytosis, it is common for lesions to appear on the bones, which can lead to distorted bones, fractures, and other damage. In this woman’s case, the jawbone was one of the bones attacked. This has led to her losing teeth and suffering a distorted jawbone.
As she faces death, she hopes that getting dentures will allow her to pose with her children so they will have a picture of her smiling face to remember her by. She is collecting donations and hopes to earn the money to get new dentures.
The Importance of Our Smiles
A smile is more than just teeth and lips and gums: it’s an emotion. It’s a gift that we can give to others and receive in return. It’s a memory that can sustain us.
A mother’s smile to her children. Children’s smiles to their mother. These are things that are precious beyond counting. As denture dentists, we realize how lucky we are when we can restore this precious gift to someone.
For those of us with smiles, we tend to take them for granted. We don’t realize just how special and wondrous a thing our smiles are. Don’t hide yours: share it today with those you love. We never know how many smiles remain for us all to enjoy.