To many people, a smile is defining. Wish kid Sophia said it today, and it’s true, “a smile lasts a lifetime.” But so does the power of a wish. It’s remarkable, truly, to see firsthand how a wish not only impacts the wish child, but also the family, volunteers, and wish sponsors.
After lunch with her wish sponsor, Accredo,her brothers and parents, Sophia and her family pulled up to Dr. Weiss’ office in East Memphis. A banner hanging outside ushered her into the office building, reading “Welcome, Sophia. Our wish is to make you smile.”
Excited office staff inside crowded around the windows, cameras snapping pictures, waiting for Sophia to make her way through the doors. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” they whispered.
Once inside, wiping tears from her eyes, Sophia’s mom followed her 15-year-old daughter through the waiting room to a chair with balloons tied around it. Streamers adorned the windows, and more balloons floated behind the chair.
Dr. Weiss brought her Invisalign trays to her and started walking her through what will be a months-long process to get her teeth straight.
“I was kind of shocked, that that’s what she wanted of all the wishes,” said Dr. Weiss, choking back tears. “It was very special to an orthodontist…it’s a good feeling, to do it.”
His generosity is no secret around the office.
“Dr. Weiss is so generous in a thousand ways…this is just one small way,” said Jackie Lanza, who works at the front desk.
Through the quick process of fitting her Invisalign trays, Sophia’s smile turned from that of a shy teenager to a wide, toothy grin of excitement.
“My smile’s not bad, you know… but I wanted braces, because a smile lasts a lifetime,” said Sophia.
After first being connected with Make-A-Wish Mid-South, Sophia decided to change her wish. “I originally asked for a shopping spree,” she said, “but I decided I wanted Invisalign because a smile lasts a lifetime. It lasts longer than clothes. “
“I see the results of straight teeth all the time. I know that in a few months, when [her teeth] start to move and she sees the change, that she’s going to be really happy with everything,” said Dr. Weiss. “It’s a very rewarding profession.”
And this doctor’s wish for Sophia? He says he’d like to see her teeth in about 30 years.
After a single visit to the orthodontist’s office, it’s clear that for both of them the power of a wish truly will last a lifetime.
Dr. Weiss, Orthodontist