Dear Tom,

My name is Pecoleia and it is a miracle that i was able to celebrate my fifty-first birthday last month. I was born with a severe form of sickle cell disease, which presented during my infancy and has put me in one health catastrophe after another.    

My doctors said that i would never carry a child, but i had two biological children that i raised to adulthood and a foster daughter, who came to me after her mother’s death when she was two.I am now a proud grandmother who is very involved with her four grandchildren and i refuse to let my debilitating condition rule my independence and happiness.  

Sadly, the medication i take daily for pain has caused my teeth to break at the gum line. Most of them have been extracted, except for two in the back. I have gone to local clinics and had them removed under local anesthesia; because that’s the only way I could afford to have it done, since Medicare doesn’t cover dental. However, the last extraction pushed me into a sickle cell crisis and i had to be hospitalized for days.   Since that time, my hematologist insists that any work on my mouth must be done by a specialist who can sedate me.   

Mr. Joyner, although i am disabled and unable to work, I volunteer on different community projects with young people.This puts me in the public eye at mandatory meetings with board members, politicians and other diverse people I find it emotionally and mentally devastating to be seen without any teeth. So, I have a special Christmas wish request to ask for your help to have the final two teeth removed by a specialist and then to have false teeth made and fitted to my mouth.   This wonderful gift from you will give me back my self-esteem, enable me to eat without discomfort and speak properly without my words slurring. Please help me once again smile!


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