Richard Green, a 31-year-old Special Olympics athlete from Marshfield, Wisconsin, feels at home on the field. But, when he started to experience discomfort in his tooth, it was difficult to focus on anything but the pain.
“He kept telling me his mouth hurt,” said Gail Green, Richard’s mother.
Volunteer dentists told Richard he urgently needed treatment after a screening at Special Smiles® during the State Summer Games in Stevens Point in June.
“Sometimes it’s hard to tell when he’s actually in pain,” Gail said. “At Summer Games we found out he had multiple cavities and a hole in one of his teeth.”
Richard has been actively involved in Special Olympics Wisconsin from the time he was 8 years old. Now at age 31, Richard still enjoys participating in basketball, athletics, bowling and bocce.
According to Gail, without Special Olympics Special Smiles Richard may have gone months without the proper care.
“We always take advantage of Healthy Athletes® at the State Games,” she said. “This year we found out he needed dental attention and a few years ago we discovered he needed glasses.”
Thanks to Special Olympics’ partnership with the Wisconsin Dental Association, Richard scored a spot at Mission of Mercy in Green Bay. Richard, his mother and grandmother travelled 120 miles to benefit from the free care.
After receiving a few fillings at Mission of Mercy, Richard’s pain has subsided.
“Thanks to Healthy Athletes we’ve been able to keep up with Richard’s healthcare and it has helped him become a more successful athlete,” Gail said.
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