Person of the Week
 
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Dr. Keith Black

Updated: Friday, February 7 2014, 08:05 PM EST
It's been said that a smile is the universal language of kindness, but for many people, smiling is difficult.

They're embarrassed because of the condition of their appearance and can't afford to spend thousands of dollars on braces for their teeth.

Our Person of the Week runs a non-profit that has helped hundreds of less fortunate young people get their smiles back and in many cases even change their lives.

Doctor Keith Black has seen it a thousand times, a child in need of dental work. Braces to straighten out conditions that can affect not only health but mind.

11 year old Ryan is from a family who can't afford the cost of treatment.

Tiffany Cook, mother, "I'm a single mother of two children.  I didn't have the funds to put his braces on."

Dr. Keith Black, "I kind of want the kids that have been overlooked.  Somehow in the system got missed."

Dr. Black is ready to help them get a smile for a lifetime.

Smile for a Lifetime is a national program, Dr. Black began a local chapter in Asheville several years ago, but he was helping those who couldn't pay long before then.

Dr. Keith Black, "typically moms are very emotional. Kids can be very stoic at first. Dads are very proud. But from the standpoint when we get the braces off, everybody is excited."

Excited enough to write on a wall, messages left from patients who are more than pleased.

"Dr. Black probably doesn't know it but he's changed my life and he's changed lives through this." 

And all that's asked in return is for the young person to pay it forward by helping someone else.

"They come to me.  They fill out the form that says I'm going to give back to our community, Asheville, Western North Carolina, this way."

It's hard to put a price on a smile, after all, it's connected to our hearts.

"You smile at someone what do they do back at you. They smile back."

For Dr. Keith black, it's a gift he keeps giving back.

For more information on the organization, click here. Dr. Keith Black


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