On the outside, seventh grader Gage Knapp from Muskegon, Michigan looks just like any other boy—that is, until he smiles.
According to Fox News, Gage suffers from a rare where he still has 13 baby teeth, while his adult teeth have grown around them.
As a result, it’s rendered his smile an unpleasant sight, unpleasant enough that the boy is bullied for it at school.
“They would say some mean stuff about my teeth, call me ‘buck tooth loser,'” he recalled. “Then I’d get really, really sad at home, and then I’d fake sick and tried to stay home as much as I could.”
In fact, he even attempted a few times to skip school altogether because the bullying had gotten so bad.
According to the boy’s mother Angie Johnson, her son is a talented kid earning A’s and B’s in school, and she wants people to judge her son based on his accomplishments, not his teeth.
Sadly, his father died when he was little; his family lives on a tight-budget, and doesn’t have the money to pay for the necessary dental work and braces.
“I’d give up anything in the world,” Angie said. “We live on a tight budget, but I’d give up everything just so he could smile again.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Gage’s treatment, and although it hasn’t yet reached its goal, it’s close.
The GoFundMe story reads: “It breaks my heart not being able to take my son to get his smile back. Unfortunately he is 12 and currently has 12 baby teeth causing at least 12 adult teeth to grow in over top pushing them to be crooked and overlapping. Children can be so mean my son has been picked on and bullied due to how his teeth look. Now he lost his smile, self confidence and happiness.”
Thanks to a good soul, however, Gage is finally getting his smile back. A local dentist—who wants no publicity—is offering to help fix Gage smile, pro bono.
Photo credit: Fox News
Angie is overwhelmed by the turn of events.
“It’s like holy cow, people care,” she said in an AOL report. “They connected with him. When Gage found out he teared up, he cried, he was very overwhelmed.”
Meanwhile, the extra money they had raised through their GoFundMe page will help get Gage braces, and any extra money will go toward any complications or fixing their trailer’s leaky roof or electrical issues.
READ: This 9-year-old boy from Cebu has 300 teeth
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