SAN DIEGO — Two Ocean Beach men spotted picking up trash in the early morning hours on a web cam continue to receive help they never asked for. In this Zevely Zone, I visited 'Elevated Smiles' in Carlsbad where one of the O.B Helpers is grinning from ear to ear.
When 63-year-old Marc Gervais was homeless, he couldn't count the number of people who walked right past him. Imagine his shock when a well-known dentist opened her arms and told him to open his mouth wide. "It's kind of overwhelming. I came in here and there are eight people sitting back there and I was sitting there, and they said hey," said Marc.
Dr. Tina Saw watched our stories on Marc and his friend Dave Hendon and wanted to help Marc's aching mouth. "I get tooth aches all of the time, I have five broken roots and they get infected every once in a while," said Marc. "Yeah, it's painful."
After picking up trash for years, Marc and Dave were spotted on a web cam. News 8 viewers donated more than $30,000 to help them. San Diego Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram then offered a minivan makeover to keep the feel-good story rolling.
One of Marc's supporters messaged News 8 and informed us about his dental disease. That person told us if we really wanted to help Marc, we'd alleviate the pain he lives with every day and that's when Dr. Saw stepped up.
"How long have some of these teeth been missing?" said Dr. Saw during Marc's examination. Due to dental disease, Marc had three teeth in his mouth. Those teeth were removed and a set of 28 were replaced.
We took one last look at Marc's old mouth before the big reveal. "Here it goes. Some difference huh? It's like night and day," said Marc after removing his mask.
Dr. Saw donated $8,000 worth of dental care to Marc. "I felt really heartbroken. He's been doing such great things cleaning up the beach. Part of it is I just wanted to do good, and he was the perfect guy to do it for," said Dr. Saw.
Marc and Dave no longer live in their van and they can't think News 8 viewers enough. "All we do is pick up litter, it's not like we are brain scientists or anything we just do what we can to make the community look better," said Marc.
He is still getting used to speaking with teeth, but his attitude needs no adjustment. "I don't have bad days, I may have a few bad moments but there is no such thing as a bad day," said Marc.
Thanks to Elevated Smiles, Marc will eat steak tonight and he's champing at the bit to get started so he took a humorous bite at our camera. "Ha, ha, ha. It wasn't as good as the steak is going to be," laughed Marc.
Thank you, Marc, for giving us all a reason to smile.
If you'd like to learn more about Dr. Tina Saw and her practice 'Elevated Smiles' click here.