140619_HER07_24Dr. Leonard Brennan

Age: 61
Hometown: Portland
Cause: Dentistry for disabled and aged patients

Over the past 34 years, Brennan has donated his services to indigent and elderly clients, doing everything from filling cavities to creating dentures and performing oral surgery. Vowing to stay with patients as they age, Brennan makes home visits to older patients, occasionally bringing meals along with his instruments. In 1999, he joined Donated Dental Services, a national organization with 19,000 volunteers, to rescue patients such as one who had end-stage renal disease but couldn’t qualify for a kidney transplant because of her dental problems. Brennan estimates he saves 25 to 30 patients a year hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.

Says Brennan:

Oral disease can compromise your ability to live. My ultimate reward was a note from a woman which said, ‘I got a job.’ She’s back to being the breadwinner. Her life has changed.”

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