A Passionate Heart for Children
by Mary Hope Roseneau
Photography by Abri Kruger Photography
The waiting room at Coastal Pediatric Dentistry looks like fun. There is a huge alligator head sticking out of the wall, but he’s not scary, because there’s a toothbrush in his mouth. There’s a “Cavity Cabin” room with a game that you play by stomping your feet on a special mat. There’s an inviting tree with little stump chairs playing Disney movies. There’s a Wii game on the other side of the tree. A little girl leaving from her appointment wants to go visit the waiting room again, but mom steers her out the door.
Dr. Terri Hubbard, the dentist, is just as much fun. She’s young, blonde, athletic, and has perfect teeth. She’s soft spoken and calm, which are great qualities in a dentist. She’s also passionate about the American Heart Association, having been a volunteer the last five years. This year she has the honor of being the Chair of the 21st Annual Southern Coast Heart Ball, which will be held on February 3 at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa.
When asked why give precious personal time to the American Heart Association, she didn’t hesitate. “It’s about the children”, she explained quietly. She was very surprised to have numerous young patients who were born with congenital heart problems here in the Lowcountry. These children have many major surgeries, and of course, with consultations with their cardiologists, Dr. Hubbard is extra careful with their dental issues. Many of these children would not have survived several years ago, she explained, but new treatments and medicines are being developed to help them live their “new normal” lives.
She is very impressed with the American Heart Association’s commitment to research and support of her young patients and their families. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. “Our hope is that the Heart Ball will raise critical funds crucial to saving lives in the community,” said Dr. Hubbard, “By supporting the American Heart Association, we are one step closer to ending heart disease and stroke. But there is so much more that needs to be done, and that is why we need your help.”
Maggie Maine is a local 7-year-old charmer who will be speaking at the Heart Ball. “Wait ‘til you hear her story!” Dr. Hubbard said. “Bring tissues!” She has had many surgeries since infancy, but now is a thriving, healthy young girl, and the American Heart Association’s Open Your Heart honoree. Her parents say she is the embodiment of the quote from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream: “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
The Heart Ball is a wonderful party, she explained, a real black tie event with a wonderful meal, a silent auction, and dancing, celebrating the year’s money raising efforts of folks in the coastal South Carolina and Savannah area. Dr. Hubbard expects tickets to be sold out soon, so she encourages everyone to purchase theirs quickly.
I asked her if she had her gown yet, and she sheepishly admitted “no”. She ordered one online, but it just wasn’t right. (How many of us can relate to that?) She hopes to get a chance to go shopping soon, but she’s a busy mom as well as dentist. Her two children are Fisher, a little boy who’s 9, and Copeland, a little girl who’s 5. Their activities take up most of her time, as all young mothers understand.
Terri is from Alabama, and graduated from Auburn University. Her roommate was from Hilton Head, and she encouraged her to move here after graduating from University of Louisville dental school, specializing in pediatric dentistry. Terri was skeptical about finding enough children for her practice, that is, until she did the research and the demographics. That was 11 years ago, and her practice has grown and flourished.
When asked what she likes to do for fun outside of work and charity events, Dr. Hubbard answered quickly. “I like to be active outside with my children. I really enjoy paddle-boarding, because it’s outside and on the water.”
For more information about the Heart Ball, and to buy your tickets, visit the website at www.southerncoastheartball.org.
Now, if Dr. Hubbard can just find time to go find that dress!
Three tips for parents from Dr. Hubbard:
1) Parents should brush their child’s teeth twice a day until they can write in cursive, and tie their shoes!
2) Floss all teeth that are touching each other!
3) Do not buy sticky gummy, fruity candy for your kids. It’s the worst!