Estero father’s family hopes they can help find him a new kidney

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
The Pannone family. (Credit: The Pannone family)

An Estero father of two with kidney disease is in need of a new kidney. His 13-year-old and 10-year-old kids are hoping to spread the word and find him a donor.

This is the poster they made for their dad. It says their dad, Mario Pannone, is the best dad in the whole world and always gives back to others.

His two kids, 13-year-old Mario and 10-year-old Carolena say their dad means the world to them. “Everything, everything, he’s the best.”

Their dad suffers from polycystic kidney disease, so he hasn’t been able to be the dad he would like to be.

“Sometimes he gets very tired,” said Carolena.

“It’s just really tough having it. No energy, just tired all the time. Two young kids. Trying to keep up with them. It’s they’re very active,” said Pannone.

The only cure is a kidney transplant, something his wife Kristen said would be an answer to their prayers. “It would mean that his disease ends, his disease stops, he gets his energy back. And he gets to work, he gets to do things with his children that maybe others forget our a gift for some,” said Kristen.

No one in the family is a suitable donor, so Mario’s kids made a flyer hoping to spread the word and maybe, just maybe, find their dad the perfect match.

“Maybe consider helping my dad. Yeah, definitely because it could save his life and help it so that when we grow up, he’s there beside us,” said Mario.

“He just does things constantly to help people. So now, at this point, it’s hard for him to accept the help, and I am so hopeful now with the kids putting this flyer out that will reach someone who realizes they could save his life and make him be able to dance with our daughter at her wedding and help our son navigate life,” said Kristen.

While Kristen and the kids know it’s a big ask, they know finding a donor would change their lives and save Pannone’s.

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