Tucson teen desperate for new kidney

Local family searching for an O-positive transplant donor

Family in search of kidney

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Parents will do just about anything for their kids. So, when a Tucson family found out their teenager was in end-stage kidney failure, they started reaching out to the community

“I’m going to have a nice lunch with my family,” said 17-year-old Shane Gallo.

A normal meal for a teenager of pizza, breadsticks and fries is what he looks forward to. Gallo can’t eat these types of foods because for several hours every week, he sits in dialysis.

“There’s a tube inside my chest,” he said. “Sometimes I just want to do something else.”

Four hours, three times a week, he gets hooked up to a machine to filter his blood.

“He’s not a kid right now. He’s suffering. He doesn’t have a kid life,” said Vincent Gallo, Shane’s dad.

About a year ago, after a traditional family vacation to Sea World, the Gallo’s realized Shane was not feeling right.

“I started to feel a little dizzy, and I was losing weight pretty drastically, and that’s when I said, ‘I think I need to go to the hospital,’” said Shane.

At 16, he was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. Born with one functioning kidney, the organ didn’t grow as he did. It is only a matter of time before he must constantly be hooked up to a machine to filter his blood.

“I was just devastated,” Debra Gallo, Shane’s mom, said.

None of his immediate family were perfect matches. After months of being on the donor list with no calls—his parents took to old fashioned advertising, putting their phone number and the transplant coordinator’s phone number on their cars, with large lettering that reads: “Please Help. My son needs a kidney.”

“At first, I thought it wasn’t going to work,” said Shane.

The family said they have gotten about 40 calls in the month the message has been up, but no matches yet. Shane has O+ blood. Still, the family pushes on, hopeful this teenager will have a new life soon.

“It would mean a lot to me. I would be so excited,” Shane said on the impact a new kidney would make for him. “I’d be able to start my life again.”

“He’s a teenager. He’s got a long life head of him, and we’re trying to give him the best chance possible,” said Vincent Gallo.

The Gallo’s are hoping someone will come forward with a match, and ask that people with O+ blood contact the transplant coordinator, Lorrie, at Phoenix Children’s Hospital at (602) 406-6199. The family also has a GoFundMe set up [HERE] and a Facebook fundraiser [HERE].

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