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Folks across Ohio rally to help young girl who can't speak after hearing her story

Posted at 6:00 PM, Sep 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-03 18:44:16-04

How different would your life be if you couldn't communicate conventionally? If you couldn't speak? 

A little girl growing up in Summit County knows the answer too well, but Naomi Gross had never let those challenges get her down.

We're happy share some awesome new developments Monday since her family first shared their story.

RELATED: Community comes together to help a little girl who can't speak find her voice  

"It was overwhelming, the response we received," said Jessica Gross, Naomi's mom. "After it aired I couldn't go five minutes without my phone pinging."

Naomi's received a difficult diagnosis of a neurological disorder called childhood apraxia. She can't speak. 

"Basically her brain and her mouth don't connect," Gross explained, "She thinks. She's successful. She has a brain that wants to tell you things. Naomi gets very frustrated with us."

Then there was frustrating back-and-forth with insurance coverage for Naomi because, according to her family, she doesn't fit in the conventional box.

"The insurance company says this is just not something they pay for, period," Gross said. 

The Gross Family pays more than $350 a week for the therapies Naomi needs to develop her speech. 

"For the past year-and-a-half we've been paying out-of-pocket for her services," Gross said. That's without the $7,000 device she needs. 

But Gross told News 5 the support Naomi's voice has received from their fundraiser, News 5 viewers, their community and more has made all the difference.

"We had so many donations," Gross said. "I was not prepared for what was coming our way."

The fundraiser and generosity not only paid for the new speech device that's already making a difference at home and with her therapy, but more.

"The money was raised to pay for her device and then we'll be able to pay for her therapies for quite a while," Gross said. "It's a big step to ask for the help or put it out there that it's needed, but once it's out there, people just come from everywhere."

As for all of the people who rallied around Naomi after hearing her story?

Her mom has some words to share: "Thank you. You have opened doors for us that we never imagined would be there. We thought we would have to fight a whole lot harder for it and now we don't have to fight. And we can just go to bed at night happy and confident that she has what she needs."