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Dental Hygiene Program Raises Funds for Recent Alumna

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Dental Hygiene Program raised $4,000 for a recent graduate who is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Mindy J. Crawford, who earned an associate degree in dental hygiene in 2004, was diagnosed with having at least three anaplastic astrocytomas (tumors) in her brain, all inoperable because of their locations.

Crawford, 30, experienced her first grand mal seizure on her 27th birthday in 2005. A brain scan led doctors to diagnose her with epilepsy. In August 2006, the Milton resident experienced a seizure at work, and subsequently stopped working. She continues to pay for her own insurance to help cover the costs for her medications and treatments. When Crawford began having as many as 12 seizures a day, she visited a doctor in Pittsburgh, who, after a biopsy, presented her cancer diagnosis on Sept. 13, 2006. Her prognosis was three to five years.

After chemotherapy and radiation treatments that ended in January, Crawford’s tumors have remained stable, but she is still unable to work. She shares custody of her 9-year-old son.

To help Crawford to maintain her insurance and pay other bills that continue to accumulate, the Dental Hygiene Program held a continuing-education course for dental hygienists on May 9, presented by Dr. Albert Stush, a Lewisburg orthodontist. The college’s dental hygiene staff and faculty invited all dental hygiene alumni from Penn College and Williamsport Area Community College (a Penn College forerunner), as well other dental hygienists from surrounding counties, to attend. Funds raised through registration fees were given to Crawford.

“As a graduate of the program, Mindy is part of the Penn College dental hygiene family,” said Shawn A. Kiser, director of dental hygiene at the college. “Mindy’s strength and courage should be an inspiration to us all.”

Crawford wants to make something positive come from her experience with cancer. She has formed “Team Mindy” and participates in the Milton Relay for Life, an event that benefits the American Cancer Society. This year, she has been nominated “honorary co-chair” and will be presenting a speech prior to the survivor ceremony.

For more information on Milton’s Relay for Life or Mindy Crawford’s Benefit Fund, visit online . Donations may be sent to Mindy Crawford Benefit Fund, care of Milton Savings Bank, 80 Broadway St., Milton, PA 17847-1114.

To learn more about the dental hygiene majors or other academic programs offered by the college’s School of Health Sciences, visit on the Web or call (570) 327-4519. For more information about Penn College, visit online, e-mail or call (800) 367-9222.

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