| Journal of the Arizona Dental Association, June-July 2013
Whydidyoudecide tovolunteer to
serveon the ADF Board?
I volunteered in order to provide another perspective
to the Board. The Board is an opportunity for me to in-
tegrate my global volunteer experiences into an already
strong dynamic of people that currently serve. I want to
continue to provide a positive impact in my community.
Whydoyou participate in somany
charitable events?
Prior to my dental career, I came to the understand-
ing that access to healthcare can be a true privilege.
There are so many underserved communities both lo-
cally and globally. Our profession allows us to provide
direct care by simply taking dental instruments and
providing for basic dental needs (having a genera-
tor that works never hurts too). In order to have an
impact, my hope is to provide as much dental care
that I can while I am still capable of practicing. I have
traveled to Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guatemala,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mexico, and provide
inaccessible dental care. Locally, events such as GKAS
and Special Olympics are an opportunity to directly
serve and connect with our community. The coordina-
tion of all the volunteers aid children in having screen-
ings and dental care. Having participated in Special
Olympics in both New York and Arizona since 2001,
I have been truly enriched by volunteering. The ath-
letes inspire me to continue to do great things, and to
maintain a heart that is always willing to give.
What have you enjoyedabout doing
charitablework inothercountries?
Each one has had a lasting impression in my life and
in each country the people have been wonderful and
extremely receptive. I was born in Brazil, so going
back is always exciting to see all the changes in Rio
de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. I would also share that
the Dominican Republic has the best wind surfing
and Dulce de Coco. Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania
showcase nature at its purest. Last, Mount Kiliman-
jaro and the Serengeti should be on everyone’s must-
see ‘bucket list.’
Guatemala and Mexico are so geographically close to
us, but so far away in regard to their access to dental
care. These two cultures share a Mayan culture, but are
vastly different otherwise, and I find that fascinating.
What is the nicest “thank you” you
receivedat acharitable event?
That is tough to answer. Each location has provided
me with extraordinary memories and gifts. That said,
Brazilian children brought me my favorite street food,
pastel and coxinha—I still reminisce about Brazil-
lian street food. In Tanzania, I received a tribal knife
carved by the Maasai. In the Dominican Republic,
one of their Air Force Generals provided me an of-
ficial “captain” patch. In Guatemala, I received an
artist’s painting of locals extracting each other’s teeth.
Howwouldyou encourage apeer
toget involved involunteering?
By continuing to volunteer, each experience is
rewarding in its own right. I encourage fellow col-
leagues to try one first. A taste of volunteering can
change your view of dentistry and may lead to more
opportunities elsewhere. It takes a few minutes for
a dentist or dental professional to provide care that
would leave a lasting impression. Local opportuni-
ties like Special Olympics and AzMOM are opportu-
nities for everyone.
Dr. Daniel Kang, Brazilian-born,of Koreandescent, andformerresidentof
bothEastandWestCoasts, has providedCharitablecare inmorecountries than
most touristsvisit inalifetime.
Brazilian children brought me my favor-
ite street food, pastel and coxinha—
I still reminisce about Brazillian street
food. In Tanzania, I received a tribal
knife carved by the Maasai.
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