Organized by: Kaitlyn Johnson
I was born with Goldenhar Syndrome. Which for me, means no ears, ear canals, part of a jaw and that's only naming a few. I've had surgeries every year since I was born. After my last major surgery, two years ago, I had to take a break. Having a bone taken out of my leg to make a jaw, seven metal plates placed in my face and close to a week in the ICU, I thought I earned a break. I thought my parents deserved a break! They have always paid on my medical bills, I don't think there has been a month where they haven't made a payment. They don't ask for help, they just work more. Years ago, I had a surgery to give me prostetic ears. The screws were inserted into my skull and the fake ears snapped on and off. Usually this is effective and the ears can occasionally look real. However, I always had skin issues. The skin under the ears would get infected and drain. It became painful and it wasn't worth it. I have gone without ears for over two years. My mom found a surgeon out in California who makes medapor ears. We talked to the surgeon and its a go. She believes she can make me two ears! Its three surgeries in one year out in California. We need to spend ten to fourteen days out there after each procedure in case something happens. These surgeries will be on top of the one I'm getting in the next couple of months. They are making me a chin implant. This procedure will be done in Minnesota. There are two other surgeries, one on the west coast and one on the east coast but they are still in the preliminary stages. My parents are still paying on past medical bills but didn't blink an eye about these up coming surgeries. They say its worth the money and if they have to make payments for the next ten to twenty years, so be it. I would like to help them with that. I'm 18, a senior in high school and I have three other siblings. An older sister starting in college and one of my younger siblings wears hearing aides like I do.
Sorry for being so long winded but my story is long and that was the short version!
Thank you for your time and donation. It is very appreciated.
Hello, I'm Kate's mom. When she asked if she could help, I didn't realize the response we would get. Its very humbling to my husband and myself. I thank everyone for that, even if you don't donate. You read about Kate's story and thats what is important. Kaitlyn has been through alot, more then one should for being eighteen. We are in awe of her inner strength and she has the best sense of humor. She is the only one I know that can walk around with her hair up and no ears and ignores the stares. She knows people stop and stare and stare and stare but she moves on. And she doesn't see differences in people- in her eyes, everyone is the same and thats how she treats people. If everyone lived by her standards, bullying would be a thing of the past and hot cheetios would be in its own food group! When she decided the prostetics ears weren't working, she was prepared to live without ears. She would bobby pin her glasses to her hair and use headbands to hold them in place. When she heard about the medapor ears, she was excited. It gave her hope. She said if they do not work out or the surgeon was unable to do them, she would be ok. As she told me when she was 7, "Mom, this is how God made me. it will be ok".
Thank you for your time, your donation and for reading my daughter's story!