Woman Travels Across Country To Fix Birth Defect - New York News

Woman Travels Across Country To Fix Birth Defect

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This is story that will inspire you. A young woman traveled across the country to find a solution to a disfiguring birth defect.

Joyce Evans followed her emotional and dramatic transformation by a team of charitable local doctors.

"It's gonna change the way I talk and eat and the way I look and I always wanted teeth that don't come out I wanted to feel more normal, " Monique Lewis said.

She's been fighting to be "normal" since she was born. And well under into a series of painful surgeries. Now 27, Monique Lewis has already gone under the knife 53 times.

"The biggest operation I had was for a bone grafting procedure for dental implants when I was 10 years old," Lewis said.

Brutal surgeries, even worse recoveries, more scars, more disappointment, but Monique, going for her masters in Clinical Counseling, is more determined to press on to surgery number 54.

"I want to be able to help people and I know if I give up I can't," Lewis said.

Mom, Cassie and her hero traveled from Denver, Colorado to Fort Washington, PA, searching for heroes of a different kind.

"She's my hero; she'll always be my hero," Cassie said.

Board Certified Prosthodontist Tom Balshi and the PI team, figured a way to take Monique from cleft lip and palate to a full set of state of the art adult dental implants.

"We're gonna go be aiming for her cheek bone. The implant will actually be about this size and it'll be coming in at about a 45 degree angle like that," Balshi said.

And she's getting more.

"She's really collapsed so if we can build this out a little bit and bring that lip forward it will give her a prettier profile," Balshi said.

Monique's mom is blown away by it all.

"When she came home and told me how much they cared and took the time with her over and over to try to get these teeth right, we've never had that," Cassie said.

New teeth in, Monique and her sister make yet another trip from Denver, this time included cosmetic surgeon Allan Wulc.

"The best thing to do would be to try to lengthen your lip by putting a little Botox in It'll last for 3 months but I think it will give you the effect you want," says Wulc.

And this is the effect she got.

"I don't know if this is even real yet," Monique said.

She's still working on a whole new way of talking and eating.

"I'm probably for the first time in my life actually really happy with the way I look," Monique said.

Monique's amazing work is worth about $100,000, but most of it is donated through the PI Foundation,  Foundation for Oral Rehab and Dr. Allan Wulc of W Cosmetic Surgery.

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