Dr. Jamie Sahouria has owned a pediatric dental practice in Rohnert Park since 2008, working hard to build her practice and her place in the community. That’s why she stepped forward when approached by a friend whose children have been her patients since the beginning.

Tiffany O’Neil, whose son is a cancer survivor, mentioned that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raises money each year by staging Man and Woman of the Year fundraising contests throughout the United States. Sahouria was hooked when she saw the Boy of the Year pictured on the cover of the information pamphlet.

It was one of her patients, a young boy named Jayden.

“I realized that the picture was of one of my little guys, and I had to help out,” Sahouria said. “Fundraising is hard, but fighting cancer is a big battle.”

Sahouria set a goal of raising $50,000, competing against two other candidates for the North Bay Woman of the Year title.

“I decided on that amount based on what other people were looking to raise in recent years,” she said. “Honestly, fundraising is a lot harder than I thought it would be, but it is for a good cause.

“Being a health care provider, you see lots of kids, including those with special needs and who are fighting to overcome diseases. You develop a soft spot, so you try and help where you can.”

Since opening her practice, Sahouria has transformed it into a general practice that includes a specialized orthodontist, a root canal specialist and a gum specialist.

“Generally, as a practice, we look to be community-oriented,” she said. Sahouria regularly donates to parents’ and local PTAs’ school fundraisers as well as sponsoring youth sports teams and the fishing derby.

“My staff jumped right into this,” she said. “I am very proud of them. This has definitely been a team effort.”

Each team member has a fundraising website and has gone outside the county to solicit items for a silent auction. One secured an autographed photo from the San Francisco Giants, Sahouria said, “and our orthodontist donated a free set of braces for a raffle. That right there is worth a few thousand dollars.”

Entrants have until 5 p.m. Saturday, June 20, to complete their fundraising efforts. Proceeds are used for such things as research, development of therapies, education and support.

To support Sahouria’s fundraising, visit mwoy.org/pages/gba/northbay15/jsahouria, go to Sahouria Pediatric Dentistry at 1301 Medical Center Drive in Rohnert Park, email brushflosssmileinfo@gmail.com or call 586-6600.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included an incorrect spelling of Dr. Sahouria’s last name.