For the past two years, the 25-year-old Birmingham, Alabama resident has fought with congestive heart failure until he finally received a heart transplant about a year ago. Unfortunately, his teeth were in bad shape as well, and doctors thought it would be healthier to remove them.
Boglin said that losing his teeth was a frightening experience but he was just happy to be alive. He planned on getting dentures sooner or later, but it would have taken him several years to raise the money. “I didn’t think I was able to afford them right now,” he told Al.com. “Not this quick.”
Boglin’s girlfriend heard about 52 Lives on the radio and contacted Jaime Thurston, the project’s founder, to see if the organization could help. 52 Lives raises money for an different individual’s cause every week, from raising $7,000 for a young boy’s heart surgery to helping a single mom buy Christmas presents. So far, they’ve helped 30 people, and Boglin was the 29th.
In an email to Al.com, Thurston said, “I receive so many requests, but Victor’s was a story that really stood out as someone I wanted to help. He had been through so much already and then, at just 25 years old, he was facing a life with no teeth.” Quality dentures can help wearers look up to ten years younger and often prevent facial collapse.
But even Thurston was concerned about raising enough money to cover Boglin’s new dentures in time, but their wide network of supporters came through and the funds were raised in only a week.
Boglin didn’t learn of the campaign until he was already on his way to get his new dentures. “I was excited, I was surprised and in awe,” he said. “It’s kind of unbelievable. I didn’t know anything about it until a friend of mine said, ‘I got a surprise for you.'”
He plans to pay forward his extraordinary gift by teaching others about heart health, and he’s eager to switch from soup and bananas to more hearty food.