Sequim dentist donates time, expertise to Himalayan children

Bundling up to stay warm in Antarctica … dog sledding to the Ice Hotel in Sweden … trekking through the Tibetan jungle.

Gary Lange is an adventurous person who enjoys visiting faraway, mountainous regions of the world.

For more than eight years, the Sequim dentist has been dreaming about a Himalayan vacation. That dream will come true May 14 when Lange will travel to Kashmir, a region on the northern border of India and in eastern Pakistan, where he will give free dental exams, repairs and extractions to children.

Lange’s wife, Sally, will accompany him and assist with exams during the three-week trip.

After spending two weeks in the town of Leh — at about 12,000 feet — the couple will travel four hours by jeep over a 17,500-foot mountain pass — the third highest road in the world — to Tangste, a remote village at about the same elevation as Mount Rainier.

“It’s a working vacation but will be a lot of fun,” Lange anticipated. “I’m looking forward to working with a lot of children in need.”

Indigenous children living in the Himalayans beg tourists for candy, according to Lange. Without proper dental care, the result is tooth decay.

“Don’t give candy out to kids when you’re traveling to remote areas,” Lange advised from a professional standpoint. “It only causes problems.”

The trip is through the Global Humanitarian Expedition, a nonprofit volunteer service organization that connects volunteers with organizations around the world to provide humanitarian assistance. Volunteers work side-by-side with the indigenous people to improve quality of life. Projects range from dental care to education and community empowerment.

In the past six years, Global Humanitarian Expedition has served more than 23,000 children.

The Sequim Gazette will follow up with Lange upon his return in June.

The dentist also is planning a two-week charity trip to Kenya in August 2009.

More information about Global Humanitarian Expedition is available online at

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