Dr. Harry Chronquist spent his career practicing dentistry in Evanston, Illinois.
Though Dr. Chronquist passed away in 1993 and his wife, Gladys, died in 1998, through their legacy support the Chronquists are still helping patients receive great oral healthcare today.
A smiling Dawn Cahill and her daughter, Brianna, meet with Dr. Bruce Thomas. Cahill benefitted from the Oral Surgery Angel Fund, established by a gift from Dr. Harry and Gladys Chronquist (right).
The Chronquists left their estate in trust for their daughter, Joan Moyer. When Joan passed away in December of 2009, the balance of the trust was distributed as designated by the Chronquists many years earlier. That distribution included a gift "for research and gratuitous treatment in oral surgery at Marshfield Clinic."
Fulfilling the Chronquists' request to fund research was simple, because Marshfield Clinic scientists engage in dental research on a regular basis today. To fulfill the request to fund "gratuitous treatment" in oral surgery, a new Oral Surgery Angel Fund was created.
Since its inception in 2010, the Oral Surgery Angel Fund has helped nearly 100 patients receive care they desperately needed, but could not otherwise afford. The Angel Fund covers a portion of the cost associated with oral surgery, which can easily be daunting.
Dawn Cahill, 28, of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is one of the patients who received help from the Chronquists through the Oral Surgery Angel Fund. Dawn lost her two front teeth in an elementary school ice-skating accident and wore a retainer-like device for the next 15 years, which provided a poor replacement for the missing teeth.
"I was very self-conscious," Dawn said. "I didn't like to be in photos and I was pretty quiet. I didn't like to talk to people and sometimes I tried to smile with my mouth closed." When the bone around the retainer started to deteriorate, the retainer became a functional problem. After many years of being unable to afford dental care, Dawn finally was able to seek treatment, but learned that a more permanent fix was necessary – and costly.
Marshfield Clinic Oral Surgeon Dr. Bruce Thomas was able to connect Dawn with assistance from the Oral Surgery Angel Fund, so she could proceed with treatment. It included removing bone from her hip to implant in her mouth to replace the bone that had deteriorated. In the end, Dawn walked away with four newly implanted teeth and a beautiful smile.
"If I could meet the Chronquists, I'd be so grateful," Dawn said. "It has made me happier and it's great to know there are people out there who are willing to help others."
The legacy of Dr. Harry and Gladys Chronquist continues on… one beautiful smile at a time.
Join Dr. Harry and Gladys Chronquist and the other members of the Doege Legacy Society in supporting the Marshfield Clinic mission through your estate. Please contact Karen Piel, gift planning officer, at 1-800-858-5220 or visit Legacy Planning for more information.