Sophomore battles ongoing disorder



Sophomore Ellie Kolesik has a rare condition called enamel hypoplasia.

Enamel hypoplasia is a disorder that entails a shortage or complete absence of protective enamel coating on the teeth.

Kolesik has had the disorder for as long as she can remember and has battled with her teeth for most of her life.

“When I was little, I would drink Kool-Aid, and it would make my my teeth red because there was nothing there to protect them,” Kolesik said.

The disorder encompassed a large portion of Kolesik’s life. While she expressed that it hasn’t greatly affected her education, it has affected her personal life. Kolesik was frequently treated as a younger child for pain and the subsequent cavities from her condition.

“I like school,” Kolesik said. “I wasn’t as happy, though, as kids are supposed to be. I always had that disease pulling me back.”

Until the most recent step in her long-term treatment, the pain was what limited Kolesik most. Kolesik also attributes part of her quiet persona to her condition.

“My family finally gets how much pain I’m going through,” Kolesik said. “I’m really happy now, too, because this is really the first time I can chew food and talk without pain.”

On Oct. 22, Kolesik had all of her teeth removed, and she is currently wearing dentures. This first step toward long-term resolution made her hopeful in her ongoing battle with her teeth.

“I’ve had a lot of help through the years,” Kolesik said. “Whether it be friends, family or charity events.”

A few friends that helped Kolesik stay cheerful through tough times were sophomores Sydney Johnson, Erika Bennett and Courtney Sheibal.

“I’ve known her since last year,” Johnson said. “I’ve always felt like I’ve had to be there for her and had to be cheerful around her.”

Johnson noted that Kolesik’s confidence increased greatly since her most recent procedure.

“Before her surgery, she would hardly talk at all,” Johnson said. “Now she’s always laughing and never quiet.”

Sheibal has also known Kolesik since last year and didn’t know what Kolesik’s condition meant.

“At first I didn’t know, because she was so shy,” Sheibal said. “But then she kind of opened up about it, and we became closer as friends.”

Kolesik also credited Sheibal with boosting her spirit at bad times.

“After her recent surgery, she has changed a lot,” Sheibal said. “We’ve all tried to learn more about her, and we try to get together frequently.”

Another set of plans set in place to help Kolesik’s family pay for expensive future procedures is a chili feed later this month. Kolesik and Bennett’s Catholic elementary school is organizing the event.

“It’ll be at St. Mary’s Church Nov. 23 from 11 a.m to 3 p.m.,” Kolesik said. “We don’t know who’s coordinating it, but a bunch of people have been calling us. We’re just happy to have some help.”

For more information on the fundraiser, visit St. Mary’s Church’s website here.

Mike Sullivan