OLATHE, Kan. — A Kansas man has a simple Christmas list this year: All he wants are his two front teeth. He lost them around the holidays last year, but thanks to the community's support, his Christmas wish is coming true.
Last Christmas morning, Evans Kamuru was wrapping presents quickly and used his teeth to cut the tape.
"Not the best idea," Kamuru said. "And as I was doing it I felt something literally fly out of my mouth. Right on the carpet was my right upper front tooth."
And two days into 2018, his other front tooth fell out when he bit into a waffle. Both teeth had crowns on them. He kept a sense of humor about it and posted a video to social media, singing the well-known song, "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth."
Kamuru saw a dentist about dental implants, but they're expensive. It wasn't feasible for him.
"This last half of a year has been really really tough for us as a family," Kamuru said.
Kamuru has a wife, two daughters and a 5-year-old son named Zeke, who has autism. His care and therapy are the family's financial priorities.
"That comes first, and teeth are cosmetic for the most part," Kamuru said.
Now, Kamuru uses a temporary flipper, a plastic tray with shading for where his teeth should be. He has to take it out to eat.
Last Saturday, Kamuru's church, the Gospel Outreach Center of Kansas City, had a Christmas dinner and talent show. One of the acts was a magic trick.
"At the end of it, they handed me a check with about $14,550," Kamuru said.
That money, meant to cover out-of-pocket costs for dental implants and Zeke's long-term care, came from Kamuru's friends and family. They started a What'sApp group and shared his video. They got donations from around 300 people.
Kamuru said his church community is very close and very giving. They help each other for things like weddings and funerals.
"Just to think that they went out of their way to do this for us is very touching and humbling," Kamuru said.
As an added layer, Gordon Dental of Leawood gave Kamuru a huge discount, making his out of pocket expense after insurance $1,800 for a savings of around $6,000.
He's thankful for all the generosity and sacrifices from the community for his two front teeth and for his family.
"God cares," Kamuru said, "even about the little details of our lives that sometimes you don't think about."
Kamuru's first of three procedures for his new teeth is Friday morning (Dec. 21). It's an 8-month process.