Katrina's Story

When we met Katrina, she’d already experienced unbelievable life transformation.

Sexually abused by a male relative at a young age, shame led Katrina down the dark spiral of addiction and prostitution as a teenager. From there, she lived on the streets for 28 years. During that time, she became HIV positive, left her daughter to be raised by her mother, and stayed on the run from the darkness of her past.

Katrina entered Thistle Farms‘ residential rehabilitation program in 2005,  and now has over a decade of sobriety. She is currently the National Sales Director of Thistle Farms and oversees all the retail sales and stores. She celebrates her new life, reunited with her daughter (who now works for her!), becoming a homeowner in 2007, and marrying the love of her life in 2008.

But still, God wasn’t done yet…

Katrina’s life on the streets had left her mouth in bad shape. She had only six original teeth remaining, and her crowns often fell out of her mouth while she spoke. She was embarrassed of her smile and didn’t feel free to fully be herself.

Honored to be a part of her story, Hope Smiles fit Katrina with a brand new smile… and she says it changed her life. She has confidence again and a new boldness. She talks freely and laughs heartily – throwing her head back, mouth wide open, in reckless abandon. She is the essence of pure joy.

Katrina cries tears of gratitude as she recounts the amazing grace that has been shown to her. And she is determined to live her life in extension of that grace to others.

Gradi Ellis