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Remembering a courageous dental assistant

March 21, 2011
Denise Ciardello gives us a beautiful insight into a very special dental assistant who bravely battled cancer with a smile that warmed the lives of everyone she was with. Meet Beckie Sewell.
By Denise Ciardello
Have you ever met someone and instantly felt that everything in the world was all right, that all your troubles might disappear because the person’s smile and positive aura wraps you up like a warm, soft blanket? Please allow me to introduce Rebecca Sewell, Beckie to most. Her spirit is pure and her smile magnificent.Beckie, who has been an assistant for more than 20 years, joined Dr. Michael Bell’s office in Austin, Texas, in 2008, where she immediately blended in with his team. Her positive spirit has made a permanent impression on everyone. She was already five years into treatment for her colon cancer when she arrived, and even though at times we knew she didn’t feel well, her smile was always present and her outlook always positive. She leaves cancer at the back door. People walk away from Beckie wishing that the world could have more people like her.All mothers love to talk about their children, but when Beckie talks about her kids, her eyes sparkle and her pride shows through in every word. She has always lived for her kids, and they are her first priority. She is tough when it’s called for, yet she is their friend as well. At times when she wanted to quit her treatment, she continued for her kids.She also displays a great love of her career. Beckie is a dental assistant extraordinaire. She approaches the profession with much gusto. She can intuitively tell if a patient is anxious about treatment, and she succeeds in completing each case with a patient feeling comfortable and amazed at the cohesiveness Beckie and Dr. Bell share. It’s like Beckie reads Dr. Bell’s mind — she knows what he needs before he does. Not only does she do the best for her doctor, she helps all other assistants learn how to do the best for their doctors. She has the heart of a teacher, and guides with patience and perfection.Beckie has been dealt a hand that would make most of us ask, “Why me?” But she doesn’t ask. When traditional methods were not available to her, Beckie opted for clinical trials hoping that it would help someone else down the road. Staying true to form, in the time of adversity she still thinks of others first. Throughout all the pain, appointments, and inconveniences, one never hears her say a cross word, and her beautiful smile never leaves her face. One day, when discussing her treatment options, she blurted out, “Cancer sucks!” Those words will forever resonate in our minds and Beckie’s radiant smile will forever live in our hearts.Insurance has assisted with some of the Becki’s treatment; however, there is a major shortfall with the funding. An account has been created at Wells Fargo in the name of Rebecca Sewell in the event that someone is moved to help her with the financial deficits. She continues to bravely fight the fight. She is a great woman and still has so much left to do here on this earth. We are in awe of her strength and proud of her resolve. We pray that God continues to hold her tightly in His hands. We love you, Beckie.Footnote: Beckie ended her battle with cancer on March 9, 2011. For eight years she fought bravely and courageously, beating her initial one-and-a-half-year prognosis. Hundreds attended Beckie’s service, and there was not a dry eye anywhere as we said goodbye to this very special lady. As the pastor stated, “Beckie beat her battle with cancer; she is now cancer free.” The consolation to this loss is that she is no longer in pain and we know is smiling among the angels. Author bioDenise Ciardello and Janice Janssen are respected professionals in the dental consulting industry and the co-founders of Global Team Solutions, a practice management consulting firm specializing in team building and team training. They can be reached at [email protected], (314) 644-8424, or [email protected], (210) 862-9445.