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October 22, 2020
Eureka – aka “I Found It!” The four Smile For a Lifetime cyclists found a festive arrival as they made their way to the small town of Eureka, just outside of St. Louis, MO along the final stretch of their 2,000+ mile cross country trek. The day started when Drs. Montano and Relle, along with fellow road warriors Brian Dooley and Abel Rivera, got a police escort through the charming downtown. A fire department pumper truck hoisting the American flag welcomed them as they made their way to the Walde-Miller orthodontic office. Upon arrival, the riders were greeted by a group of enthusiastic supporters, including three teenage patients enrolled in the Smile For a Lifetime program.
Dr. Relle knew he ‘wanted to do something’ big and it took just one call to his colleague and fellow cyclist Dr. Don Montano to set things in motion. The riders took off from Santa Monica on September 12 headed six week later to Virginia Beach, VA.
Smile For a Lifetime board president Dr. Don Montano explains the importance of the program. “We are riding because kids are getting bullied because of their crooked or buck teeth. It’s definitely a social impairment for them and not every family has the resources to provide orthodontic care.”
And the proof was standing right there! Sisters Chelsea and Madelyn and their mom Rita drove for more than 40 minutes to welcome the docs to Eureka. Rita is very grateful for the opportunity. “I am really thankful for the program. As a single mom, without it, the girls would not have had braces.”
Teen Madelyn is thrilled, “I feel happy cause I can smile now.” Her sister Chelsea adds “without it, I wouldn’t have straight teeth or braces.”
As a provider in Smile For a Lifetime, Dr. Jackie Miller understands the impact of this ride. “It’s so important to bring people who want to provide care to those that need care,” she says. “The fact that these doctors are biking across the US to bring awareness to this program makes your heart swell.”
Also on hand to welcome the doctors was brand new Smile For a Lifetime patient Cassie, who was at the orthodontic practice for her very first consult. Her mom Marcy says applying for the program was simple. “It was a really easy process,” she explains. “I applied on a Friday and in less than a week our first consult was scheduled. We’re excited. This is a real blessing.”
ProBiora has been a proud sponsor of the Creating Smiles One Mile at a Time cross country ride since the beginning. “We’re all about healthy smiles and to be part of this incredible event was a great fit for us,” says Chris Koski, CEO of ProBiora Health. “Hopefully more and more families in need are now aware of this incredible way to receive free orthodontic treatment for their children.”