Reporting David Highfield
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — People are coming together to help a little girl born without fully-formed ears.
A fundraiser was held Monday night at La Cappella Restaurant at the Waterworks for Gabbi Giovengo.
The 2-and-a-half year old was born with a rare condition. She has inner ears, but doesn’t have outer ears or ear canals.
Her parents, Michelle and Michael, say she can hear to some degree because of a box on a headband that she wears which amplifies sound. However, they hope an expensive operation will change things.
“The hope is to have normal hearing at least in one ear,” said Michelle Giovengo. “Perhaps they may be able to open a hole on the second one, and then she’ll have normally formed ears also.”
The operation was initially denied by their insurance, but after a battle, it was approved. Trouble is, it’s out-of-network, so they have to cover 30 percent of the costs. Plus, they have to travel to Idaho for the rare surgery.
They’ve started a Facebook page and a website to raise money, and say they’ve been blown away by people’s generosity. They need to raise a total of $20,000.
“If it’s available to us, why wouldn’t we want our child to have the same opportunities as everybody else?” Michael Giovengo asked.