CBC Recognizes Ottawa Dentists' Good Deed

April 16, 2003 - Ottawa - Brian Charania has spent years rescuing stranded motorists on Highway 417 through Ottawa. But there was something he couldn't afford: a trip to the dentist. Two Ottawa dentists decided it was time for the "Angel of the Queensway" to get something in return. Then local CBC got hold of the story.

"It all started about a year ago," Dr. Stewart Hum recalls. "My wife and I were watching Regional Contact, a people-and-places kind of show on CJOH-TV. They were covering a story on Brian and what he had been doing on the highway. There were some close-ups of Brian and it wasn't hard to notice that he only had three upper teeth.

"He is just such a giving person. It's not hard to see the heart and soul of this man. He had been providing this service for many years, but hadn't taken care of his teeth. So I figured, what the heck, let's call the guy up and ask him what we can do to help him out dentally. We knew we could reach Brian at B&N Transmission. We got him into the dental office soon after the show was broadcast and went to work on him. Dr. Cameron Jones and I gave him about $10,000 worth of free dental work. Brian still comes in for exams."

How did CBC get wind of the good deed?

"The CBC wanted to do a series of stories on random acts of kindness," Dr. Hum explains. "A CBC reporter contacted Brian and he mentioned what we'd done for him. At first, when CBC asked me for an interview, I said no. I didn't want any credit, but then Brian convinced me that our gesture might inspire others to perform similar deeds. So I agreed to be interviewed for the story in my office. The clip was broadcast in March on CBC Television's Canada Now 6 p.m. local news show. Surprisingly, it was the main story that night! Later, they turned it into a CBC Radio spot."

The story (headlined One good turn deserves another) is accessible online at: http://ottawa.cbc.ca/canadanow/dentist.html.


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