Tampa woman advertising need for kidney claims HOA wants signs taken down

Article and Video Courtesy of News Channel 8 -- Tampa Bay

By Corey Davis

Published September 5, 2017



TAMPA – A Hillsborough County woman in desperate need of a kidney is turning to 8 On Your Side for help over a dispute with her homeowners’ association.

Gabi Morales says the Glen Oaks HOA wants her to remove magnetic signs she has placed on her car.

“It’s a community, you’re supposed to help each other, not tear each other down,” Gabi says.

The signs are about 12 inches x 10 inches. She’s had the signs on the two back doors for a month trying to encourage people to go see if they’re a match or a potential donor for others.

The sign reads, “23-year-old needs living kidney donor! Give the gift of life! Facebook: Find a Kidney For Gabriele ‘Gabi.’”

Gabi says a HOA board member is now telling her that the signs are against community rules, and that the signs would make her car a commercial vehicle.

But Gabi and her mother, Tammi Morales, tell us they aren’t selling anything and are only asking for help. They don’t believe their car is a commercial vehicle.

“And I know there are rules and we have to follow the rules, but if this doesn’t constitute as a reason to break a rule, tell me what does,” Tammi says.

Gabi says the fines could be $100 per violation if the HOA pursues it any further.

A board member who lives next door tells 8 On Your Side that he didn’t want to get involved and wouldn’t make a comment.

The board president was contacted by email, but 8 On Your Side didn’t hear back at the time of this article.

Gabi is hoping for a life some might take for granted.

“I’m 23-years-old. I have goals that I want to do, I want to travel.”

But she’s limited because she spends 10 hours a day hooked to a dialysis machine.

“My dad’s, I got a month before my fifth birthday and it lasted me until March 2015, which is 18 years,” Gabi says.

She’s on the donor list with three hospitals.

Her family now has a lawyer and Gabi says they won’t take the signs down as she continues to wait for a kidney donor.