When you read the name “Daniel Smith,” you probably think it belongs to a male American. But actually, this Daniel Smith is a young Haitian man I met last year when he came to America on a medical visa. Daniel had a large benign tumor attached to his jaw that disfigured the lower part of his face (photo, top right, with his host “mom” Kim Myers). He says that when he 15, “a strange and painful tumor starting growing in side my left jaw, and doctors said I must have surgery.” Daniel had two surgeries in Haiti, but each time the tumor just grew back.
His fate changed in summer 2012 when, through the work and help of many, Daniel was able to come to the United States for major surgery to finally rid him of the mass, a non-cancerous but aggressive growth called ameloblastoma. His surgery and physical therapy were underwritten by doctors and Jefferson University and Holy Redeemer hospitals in Phildelphia. Doctors replaced most of Daniel’s jaw with a bone from his leg.
The good news is that Daniel is doing well and the chance of tumor cells having been left behind is less than one percent (photo, bottom right). However, the bad news is the lasting side effect of toothlessness. Additionally, a conventional denture will not fit Daniel’s reconstructed jaw.
THE NEED: A Child’s Refuge has been contacted to help Daniel for the next step of his journey this Spring. He will return to Pennsylvania to have teeth put back into his lower jaw. Dr. Louis Marion of Philadelphia has generously agreed to waive all professional dental fees for services he will perform to implant teeth into Daniel’s reconstructed jaw–with the exception of laboratory gold fees. So while many of his needs have again been met, Daniel has a $3,800.00 invoice for laboratory gold fees which he cannot possibly afford to pay. If you can help us help Daniel, please visit our giving page.
All donations to ACR are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. ACR is entirely volunteer run and our actual overhead is less than 1%. That means we are blessed to assure that all donations go directly to helping the least.
Any funds received in excess of a project’s budget will go toward other current projects.