My name is Kandy Gillen. I have lived in Los Angeles since 2009. Like so many others living here, I came from the Midwest. Actually, by way of the northwest. It wasn’t big dreams that brought me out here but I realized I needed to make a change. Now, I desperately want to make another change but I can’t do it without your help.
I need major and extensive dental work. It is a big process that I will undergo. One that will take a year to complete. I need full dentures, top and bottom, but before those can be put in, I will need two implants. These are basically bridges that will allow the dentures to be screwed into my mouth. I have had too much bone loss for them to hold on their own. I had a few teeth removed four years ago and some dentures fitted but my mouth was in too poor of condition for the dentures to stay in place.
Right now, my diet consists of mainly oatmeal, salads and if I’m lucky some very tender meat. The first round of treatment will include a biopsy on my tongue and a deep cleaning of my remaining teeth to prevent bacterial infection.
Yes, I’ve always hated going to the dentist but it wasn’t simple procrastination that brought me here. I have suffered from moderate to severe depression my whole life. In 2009 I was able to break free from an abusive relationship and moved to California with my dog, Maurice. Prior to that, I did a lot of self-medicating but I stopped drinking in 2014. Though there have been some fits and starts, I’ve basically been homeless since my arrival. I sleep in my van.
My goal is to get fully cleaned up. I see a counselor every two months. This is primarily to assist with my prescribed medication to treat my depression and thyroid issues. I would be open to more counseling but am currently unable to afford it. I recycle aluminum cans and do odd maintenance jobs for survival.
Why start with my teeth? Teeth are essential for finding employment. When a potential employer sees someone without teeth they are immediately turned off. How could this person represent my business? What kind of character or hygiene issues does this person have? I am doomed the moment I say hello.
My hope after surgery and dental implants would be to find a stable job. From there, I could find a permanent place to live. I would hopefully be covered by decent insurance or some money for counseling. Undoing some past hurts will go a long way in securing my future.
I will be going to the UCLA School of Dentistry for this work. They have some excellent programs for people in my position but it is not without cost. My first round of work will cost $2,800. In total, I am seeking $9,100 to cover the procedures. This would be in addition to the month figure I will be able to contribute.
For ease of logistics and handling, all contributions will be routed through the benevolence fund at my church, Culver Palms Church of Christ, who will also assist me and make payments to my account on my behalf. All donations are tax-deductible.
I appreciate your time and consideration. Any contribution would mean the world to me.