World traveler returns for dental care

"Thank you to the people of Park Rapids and all the area so very, very much," said Rosie Swale-Pope, who is becoming acquainted with some of the people and places in the Park Rapids area.

"Thank you to the people of Park Rapids and all the area so very, very much," said Rosie Swale-Pope, who is becoming acquainted with some of the people and places in the Park Rapids area.

Rosie first came to Park Rapids a month ago, while on her run around the world for cancer awareness, to visit Park Rapids dentist, Dr. Jay Jorgenson.

While in the area, Rosie said, she has received much help from many people.

Rosie said when she came to Park Rapids, Jorgenson was going to examine her teeth, which she said were in poor shape, to see if he could be of assistance. After visiting with Jorgenson one time, he asked to do a complete restoration on all of her teeth.

According to Jorgenson, he is volunteering his time to do the complete restoration and lab fees will be discounted.


"We can really improve her situation," Jorgenson said.

Jorgenson said he has helped other patients in need of extensive work in the same way. Patients with extreme cases, who are unable to afford dental care, are referred to Jorgenson by organizations, such as Donated Dental Services.

"It's fun to help them out," explained Jorgenson.

Jorgenson said he had first heard about Rosie when a patient in Grand Forks contacted him. The patient recommended Jorgenson to Rosie while she was traveling through Grand Forks.

The entire process will take "two to four months to complete." Jorgenson said, "up to 10 visits."

Rosie said this has been a highlight of her journey. For the next few months, Rosie said she would continue her journey on foot and return to Park Rapids, by some means of transportation, for dental appointments.

During her down time in Park Rapids, Rosie said she has been working on a book and an article for "Runners World," the UK, European Edition, at the Park Rapids Library.

Rosie has also done some speaking to various groups in Park Rapids.


"Some talks to repay people's kindness on a small measure," said Rosie.

Rosie spoke to Ardis Vazquez's two eighth grade geography classes.

"The kids loved it," said Vazquez. "She had them captivated."

Vazquez said, in a room with 58 eighth graders, "it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop."

According to Vazquez, she welcomed the opportunity to have someone from another country come and speak to the classes.

While speaking to a small group, at the Belle Café in Park Rapids, Rosie told the audience about her life and about various adventures she's had on her trip around the world.

Rosie talked about her childhood and growing up under the care of her arthritic grandmother.

She talked about sailing around the world as a young adult and the different races she participated in, including the London Marathon and the Sahara Marathon.


Rosie started her run around the world from her home in Tenby, Wales on Oct. 2, 2003 when she was 57. On her adventure, Rosie said she encountered wolves and bears in Siberia. She was swept away by rivers twice and had severe frostbite on her foot in Alaska.

"When I was in Russia, I met two nice gentlemen who taught me how to light a fire in the rain and it turned out they were convicted murderers on the run," Rosie said.

While Rosie is determined to forge ahead little by little over the next few months, she is enjoying getting to know the people in Park Rapids.

"Its quite outstanding what people have done for me here," said Rosie. "Everybody's been wonderful."

After Rosie's dental work is complete, she will be continuing to follow the Mississippi River, then head east to Chicago and go on to New York.

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.
Mike Clemens, a farmer from Wimbledon, North Dakota, was literally (and figuratively) “blown away,” when his equipment shed collapsed under a snow load.