1980 Tom Zito.  All rights reserved."   http://www.zito.com/index.html
Thanks to photographer Tom Zito for granting permission to use this candid photo of Kim Alexis, Francesco Scavullo and Gia.   For Gia fans, the picture is especially priceless....it is Gia in a natural state, at ease, seemingly with no pressures at the instant the shutter captured her image.

If you have a few moments, take a peek at Tom Zito's website.  He has some lovely photos of several celebrities and haunting landscapes.   Some of my favorite photos are his striking portraits:  they are simple, but telling.      

Gia Carangi, Vogue HIV,
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.   They must be felt with the heart."       Helen Keller
If you know anything of Gia Carangi's life--you probably know she was a model in the late 1970's and early 1980's, fell into heroin abuse and died of HIV/AIDS related complications at the tender age of 26.  Gia's story is told in the book, "Thing of Beauty," by Stephen Fried.  The book is probably the best way to get to know Gia.  Many people are probably familiar with the HBO bio-pic "Gia,"  starring Angelina Jolie.  While the movie is an excellent and moving introduction to Gia's life, it doesn't accurately portray the real Gia.  But the "flavor" is there.

Before Gia died, she wanted to make a video tape to tell young people, especially girls, that they don't have to do drugs to solve their problems.  Sadly, Gia did not live long enough to make that video.  But you can help Gia spread the word.   Think about volunteering at your local AIDS/HIV organization or volunteering at a youth center..  Maybe make a donation.  But before you give money, try to find out how much of your dollar will actually be spent on programs as opposed to adminstrative costs.  A good organization to give to is the Eagleville Hospital where Gia went through rehab.  Eagleville is very reputable and does good work.  About 80 percent of your donation will go to the residents.  Check it out: 

It has always impressed me how many people Gia's story has touched.  Many of her fans, including myself, can identify with some part of her life---whether it's HIV, drug abuse, or the feeling of being alone and misunderstood.  On this website, you'll find video of the real Gia,  many of her beautiful photos and some of my
own interpretations of this unforgetable figure.
  As you look and listen, please remember that Gia wasn't just another pretty face; she was and is a person who has messages for us all---and one of the clearest of them is to never give up hope. Let us also remember that in the end Gia beat her addiction---
the only thing she could not beat was HIV.

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