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Just dance

Lola Stratton’s dental condition means she can often be in pain for days, although she hates making a fuss about it. To fix it, her mum Courtney, a stay-at-home mum and full-time student, has to save up a lot – which leaves little spending power for anything else.

Lola Stratton’s canine teeth are growing in sideways, towards the centre of her palette. “It causes her severe headaches and jaw pain,” says her mum Courtney. “She describes it as a pressure on her mouth. The pain can come out of the blue and it’ll strike in waves. Sometimes it takes a few days before it goes away. “She’s had her days living on painkillers but she’s very good at coping with it all. She will mention that she’s in pain but she’s very quiet, reserved and doesn’t like to make a fuss.” Unfortunately for 12-year-old Lola, her dental condition has ruined her self-confidence – which is why getting them fixed is especially important. Courtney is a stay-at-home mum of three and is currently studying full-time, which makes saving for the treatment a little tricky. “I reached out to Satan’s Little Helper because Lola’s treatment isn’t funded through the public system. The surgery she needs will access the canines will take away some of her gum to get to the base of the teeth. Then they’ll attach chains to them and cover it with wax until that heals. “Next, the chains will be attached to braces, which creates tension that slowly draws the teeth down into the correct position.” It sounds like painful stuff, but Lola has prepared and is excited and nervous at the same time. One way Lola takes her mind off her problems is through dance. She has enrolled in a contemporary class and is leading the dance project at school. “Dance helps her express herself in a way that doesn’t make her feel self-conscious,” explains Courtney. “She channels all her emotions and feeling through her dance. She loves dancing – she can’t sit still and is always moving around the lounge.” Of course, dance costs money. So, to give Courtney a little breathing room and ensure Lola can keep doing the thing she loves, Satan’s Little Helper footed the bill for a term of dance, her exam and the compulsory leotard. “The help has been huge,” explains Courtney. “It means Lola can keep doing what she loves for another term and allows me to put some extra money into savings for the surgery. I was anxious about the exam fee and the extra cost of the leotard, so it was a welcome help.” Lola is counting down the days until her exam and practises anywhere she can. Even though there isn’t a lot of space in the house, Courtney says that Lola will find a way to dance. Away from the sport, Lola loves school and excels at art. “She’s brilliant for a 13-year-old. I remember what I was like at that age and she’s a much better kid than I was,” Courtney laughs. Now she can keep doing the thing that brings her joy with an even bigger smile on her face - that’s a win for everyone!

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