SALISBURY TWP., Pa. - Christmas may be behind us, but one Lehigh County family is hoping Santa brings its mentally-challenged son and brother a late -- life-saving -- Christmas present.
Jason Parlo needs a new kidney.
"Jason has a chronic kidney condition, which was diagnosed Christmas Eve last year," said his mother, Mary Kay Parlo.
Now, Jason spends at least 10 hours a day on dialysis.
"It's been quite a roller coaster ride -- three surgeries at Lehigh Valley Hospital to get a working catheter placed into his abdomen," said Jason's brother, Greg.
None of Jason's relatives qualify to donate, and the wait for a donor can be three years or more. The treatments have made it difficult for Jason to work. As someone with mental challenges, he desperately wants to regain his independence.
When asked if he could work a whole day now, he replied, "Not yet … I get tired."
If you want to know just how labor intensive taking care of Jason is, you only have to look at the family's basements. Stacked nearly floor-to-ceiling with boxes -- which only supply his dialysis for one month.
"We connect him for a treatment. It involves setting up the machine, which takes about 20 minutes to half an hour," said his mother. "You have to wash your hands, masks, gloves."
Jason Parlo has hope that Santa may just have one more gift left.
"I want a kidney," he said. "Bad."
Jason gets treated at Hershey Medical Center. Anyone interested in donating can contact the hospital to be tested.
For more information, visit the family's Facebook page.
Allentown, PA 18102