NORTHBOROUGH – Firefighter Mike Serapiglia risks his life to save others. Now, his family needs help from the community to save the life of his son, Jeff.
Hudson resident and Northborough native Jeff Serapiglia was diagnosed with Alport Syndrome in 2012 at 21-years-old. Alport Syndrome is an inherited disorder that damages the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys and causes hearing loss and eye problems, which Jeff is now suffering from.
Due to the disease, Jeff is suffering from kidney failure and in need of a kidney transplant.
“I have a three-year-old daughter who I want to see grow old and get married. I want to be there for her,” Jeff said.
A ‘hurdle he will overcome’
His mom, Nancy, said she was “really upset and shocked” when Jeff was diagnosed, especially because no family members suffer from Alport Syndrome.
“We don’t have it in our family. We have never heard of it. If you look it up on the internet, it’s shocking how bad it is,” Nancy said.
Mike shared his thoughts on Jeff’s battle with Alport Syndrome, noting it’s a “hurdle he will overcome.”
Since Jeff was a child, Mike said he always had the self determination to achieve his dreams. Now it is critical for Jeff to receive a kidney so he can achieve his dream of watching his daughter Spencer grow up.
Nancy said Jeff and Spencer are each other’s “everything.”
“They both thrive off of each other and love each other. It’s a very special relationship,” she said.
As he is 31-years-old and leads an active and healthy lifestyle, Jeff’s doctors are holding back on dialysis with the hope of Jeff receiving a kidney transplant soon.
A transplant would save Jeff’s life, but the transplanted organ would only last a certain amount of time depending if it comes from a living donor, which could last 15 to 20 years, or a deceased donor, which could last 10 to 15 years.
According to Jeff, his doctors are trying to find him a kidney from a living donor, so he doesn’t have to undergo another surgery just about 10 years after receiving his first kidney transplant.
To help raise awareness of Jeff’s need for a living kidney donor, his mother Nancy and girlfriend Alissa created a Facebook page, which gained about 3,000 views the first week.
Though many people visited the page, Jeff said some potential donors realized the rigor of the donation process and dropped out.
Now, there are only a handful of potential donors still interested.
“There’s no hard feelings on that, obviously. That’s a ton to ask of someone,” he said.
Mike said if his son received the transplant from a living donor, he would be “overjoyed.”
“If there is someone out there willing to donate, it would be the best possible scenario. Hopefully, it occurs before Jeff has to be on dialysis,” he said.
Northborough Fire Department Chief David Parenti said he hopes Jeff receives the transplant soon.
“As to why the town should come together to help Jeff, my answer is very simple — because it’s the right thing to do!”
For more information on how to determine if you are a match, visit https://www.facebook.com/Jeffrey-Serapiglias-KidneySearch-104505449021927/.
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