This is a Public Service Announcement

It is a rainy Friday night. A slight-framed 30-something woman with mousy brown hair quickly scans the sidewalk before ducking in the back door of the community church. The bright light makes her squint as she looks around the conference room. Plain white walls. Dark stained trim. A dry erase board and a circle of folding chairs. She sighs in relief when she spots the snack table across the room. Maybe a cookie and a cuppa joe will relax me, she thinks as she crosses the room. What the #$#%%! she mutters as she sees the table is not full of sweet goodies but carrot and celery sticks and a carafe of water.
Reluctantly, she takes some vegetables and sits down. A woman with khakis and Birkenstocks enters the room. She's the group leader. She introduces herself and it begins. When it is her turn, the mousy brown haired woman stands up and speaks clearly. It is time to confess: Hello. My name is Alyssa *(real name withheld) and I have a sweet tooth.
Fortunately in this day and age, medical research has proven that addictions are not our own decisions. It is genetic. We can't resist our urges. We try to fight them but they overtake us and eat us alive. Too bad that it is her own eating that is the demise of our Alyssa. Poor Alyssa who was more or less born with this malicious disease. With rotten teeth.
12 step programs. MART: Mothers Against Rotten Teeth, PFPWRT: Parents and Friends of People with Rotten Teeth. There's help. There's support. But, is there an end to this epidemic? The recovery is painful. Enduring the pain one minute with endless needles and drills. Sweat pouring, stomach turning. Gripping the chair. Paper bibs and bad wall and ceiling art. No end in sight. Pain. Intense pain.
Success is driving home, your face looking like you have Bells-Palsy. Let's go back to our mousy friend Alyssa. After her treatment she's home-free and cavity-free. On the way home, to celebrate, she stops at the local quickie mart to get a cappuccino from the machine and a donut. She at least remembers to get a straw for the cappuccino. Only a little bit slips out of the corner of her numb mouth as she drives home, sipping and munching her sugary treats. Is it really her fault, that unlike the rest of the population, she can't just have a little bit of sugar? That her teeth soak it up, let it dig in and rot, rot until there's no turning back and no happy ending and she looses tooth after tooth. Not even a guilty brushing is going to save these less-than-pearly whites.
You can help. For just $1 a day you can sponsor our friend Alyssa. Your support will buy Alyssa dental floss, a state of the art Oral-B tooth brush and pay the interest toward her $18,000 Care Credit card balance. You can make a difference. Please call 1-800-BAD-TEETH right now. With your pledge you'll receive a PanX of Alyssa's teeth and a monthly newsletter telling the story of others just like Alyssa who need our help. Act now.

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