Two weeks ago, 33-year-old Heather Stone was raking leaves to raise enough money for her first trip to a dentist in 12 years.

It's a much needed trip — the Missoula resident has nine cavities and five teeth that need to be pulled. But she also is blind and has autism, and the autism makes a trip to the dentist much more traumatic than it is for the average person. She'll need to be hospitalized and sedated, at a total cost of $12,000.

The Missoulian newspaper wrote an article about her effort to raise enough money for the dental work earlier this month. That prompted an outpouring of support from the community, and now Stone has about $6,000 raised. Stone's friend Treva Bittinger says she's thrilled by the help.

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com