ADA News: Leaving an enduring legacy



San Diego — Dr. Karen Becerra had always wanted to be a pediatric dentist but today, instead of treating the youngest of patients, she’s treating the oldest.

“It’s been a very interesting transition,” Dr. Becerra said.

It began when she boarded a single engine airplane during a trip in her home country of Colombia.

“The engine failed, and I thought that moment was the last minute of my life,” Dr. Becerra said. “When I survived, I made a commitment to myself to live a life that matters. Before I die, I want to make sure I leave an enduring legacy — something of significance, something that has a lasting impact.”

After getting back to San Diego, Dr. Becerra started volunteering, serving meals to seniors at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, a nonprofit dedicated to helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives. During the center’s fifth anniversary celebration, Dr. Becerra said, a senior came up to talk to her and Mary West, who, along with husband Gary, donated to Serving Seniors, the center’s flagship nonprofit facility, to help make the center a model of health, nutrition and wellness for low-income older adults.

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