Isabella Gonzalez is 7 years old, but she likes to pretend that she is a teacher. She puts her hand on her hip and says, “Good morning, children. I’m Miss Gonzalez.”
However, when she was 3, her speech was unintelligible.
“She wasn’t saying any words — just ‘mom,’” said Sandra Gonzalez, Isabella’s mother. “Whatever she wanted, she just pointed. She used to sing the ‘Frozen’ song, ‘Let It Go,’ like, ‘bo bo bo, bo bo bo.’ She was trying, but couldn’t say the words.”
When Isabella put her ear to the TV speaker to hear cartoons, Sandra suspected that she had a hearing problem.
“She passed her newborn hearing screening,” Sandra said. “I didn’t know what was going on. She needed help. I was desperate.”
Just before her fourth birthday, Isabella was referred to the Callier Center and received a diagnosis of bilateral sensorineural hearing loss — moderate to moderately severe hearing loss in both ears. Isabella needed hearing aids, but her family’s insurance denied coverage.
“I was sad,” Sandra said. “People like us don’t have the kind of money to pay for hearing aids.”
Through generous gifts made by donors to Callier’s Evergreen Fund, Isabella received hearing aids and hearing follow-up services to ensure progress with the devices for the next three years.
“When we found out that Callier was going to help us, we were so happy,” Sandra said. “My husband was excited and emotional. Isabella’s birthday present was her hearing aids.”
The Evergreen Fund was established by an anonymous donor to ensure that children in need receive clinical care.
“Isabella is a totally different child,” Sandra said. “Before, she would tell me a word, and then have to think about it, and then tell me another word. Now, she tells me everything, and in school she is reading faster than most of the normal kids.
“After all these years, I see every day that Isabella is doing better and better. We couldn’t go anywhere else better than Callier. We are so happy. We are so, so grateful.”
“ When we found out that Callier was going to help us, we were so happy … Isabella’s birthday present was her hearing aids. ”— Sandra Gonzalez, Isabella’s mother
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- Meet Isabella
At age 3, Isabella Gonzalez put her ear to the TV speakers to hear cartoons. When her family’s insurance denied coverage for hearing services, generous donors bridged the gap.
- Giving Story: Northwood Woman’s Club
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- Hope Story: Crystal Charity Ball
In 2016, the Crystal Charity Ball awarded the Callier Center a grant for $630,000 to provide hearing evaluations, hearing aids and three years of follow-up services to approximately 360 children from low-income families. Through Crystal Charity’s generosity…
- Dr. Jun Wang, Callier Center researcher
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- David Tolstyka, audiology graduate student
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- Addy DeWolfe
Two-and-a-half-year-old Addy DeWolfe loves to sing “Wheels on the Bus,” but when she was born, she failed her newborn hearing screening and was later diagnosed with permanent hearing loss in both ears. “The day we found out she was deaf, I was pretty devastated,” said Jennifer DeWolfe, Addy’s mother. At 14 months old, Addy received...
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- Meet Cole
The people at the Callier Center make me feel like I don't need to go through difficult times anymore.
- Meet Ashish
When I was in second grade, when I first got hearing aids, I could finally hear the teacher...Thank you Callier. You are my HEAR O.
- Meet Amy
Before, I felt abnormal. I didn't feel like who I was. Coming here, it was more like God sent me here. This is what I needed.
- Meet Graycie
Because of Callier, I can hear, and they just keep my super ears [hearing aids] going, so I don’t miss a thing.
- Meet Kourtnei
Kourtnei received a bone-conducting hearing aid and benefited from hearing services.
- Meet Jack
I used to go to Callier two times a week, and we used to do speech class. Two years ago, they said I’m done, because I have perfect speech.
- Meet Jackson
Diagnosed with permanent hearing loss, Jackson has cochlear implants that he calls his “magic ears.”
See for Yourself: Callier’s Cochlear Implant Camp
Watch the video of Cochlear Implant Camp, where children who have cochlear implants receive listening and speech-language therapy while participating in fun camp activities.
Callier Center Honors The Meadows Foundation, Celebrates a Longstanding Relationship
Learn about the relationship between The Meadows Foundation and the Callier Center that dates back to the formation of both organizations.