For over one year now the Liberty Bank Channel 3 SurPRIZE Squad has been bringing smiles to faces across Connecticut.
Recently, the squad was able to help make it physically easier for one woman who has struggled with her grin for years.
Megan Drewry, of Waterbury, is married and has a daughter, and has a teaching job that she loves.
However, she has had battles to fight to get her where she is today.
“It all started my freshman year of high school. I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma--which is the cancer of the femur bone,” Drewry said.
She underwent several surgeries and nearly two years of chemotherapy.
“Going through it was not easy. My friends were going to parties and football games, I was going to chemo treatments and shaving my head,” she said. “I missed my whole sophomore year of high school.”
She said her mental strength helped her pull through, yet her body was severely affected.
Years later, she not only deals with a constant pain in her leg, but the chemotherapy drugs she took during her cancer treatment destroyed her salivary glands, essentially causing her teeth to decay.
“About 10 years ago, I was finishing up my graduate school work and I noticed that my teeth were starting to turn funny colors, break off a little bit easier, chip,” she said. “From there it progressively got worse.”
Unfortunately, the dental work she needed came with a hefty price tag.
“To redo the whole mouth would be upwards of $40,000,” she said.
Her sister-in-law reached out to the Liberty Bank Channel 3 SurPRIZE Squad with the hopes that it could help out in some way.
“When I got contacted by WFSB it was just...a true miracle...a true miracle for somebody who is so deserving,” said Annie Drewry.
The squad enlisted the help of a generous dentist, Dr. Al Natelli of Southington Dental Associates.
“When I reviewed it I said, 'You know what, this is a great case! I think we can help'. I called my surgeon, Dr. Jeff Berkley and asked if he'd help with it,” Natelli said.
“She didn't really have any other options and so I thought this would be a good cause,” Berkley, an oral surgeon, said.
The squad interrupted Megan’s third grade classroom at Waterbury’s Bucks Hill School to bring her a special message that the two doctors would help restore her smile.
“I'm excited. I'm already thinking of being able to smile in family pictures. I just really never thought this would happen,” Megan Drewry said.
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