With Christmas now only three weeks away, a Hyde Park family and their 12-year-old daughter filed a serious wish list with Santa. Our John Wagner spoke with the family as they visited the Holiday Spirit Festival in Dutchess County's Bowdoin Park.
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DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- After her sister asked Santa for a puppy, Gabriella Falzarine said all she wants for Christmas is a kidney transplant.
"Santa said that he's going to try his best."
After both of her kidneys failed, her mother donated one of her own, but a year later it also stopped working.
"She's twelve but she's small so the dialysis units locally can't accept her as a patient," explained Gabriella's mother, Dianne Falzarine. "She has to be in a pediatric unit."
But despite driving three hours roundtrip three days a week for dialysis at Montefiore Children's Hospital in the Bronx, Gabriella is in the Christmas mood after spending time at the seventh annual Holiday Spirit Festival in Dutchess County's Bowdoin Park.
"I love the elves, I love santa, I love the village, I love everything--it's so cool," said Gabriella.
With family time set as their priority, the Falzarine's are doing the best they can to stay upbeat through the holidays.
"Any minute they can call us and say one has come in for her," said Dianne. "She's been on the list for seven months now."
"We start baking cookies, we write our letters to Santa, we get our Christmas tree up, decorating the house and watching movies," said Gabriella.
Although she's first in line for a kidney, Gabriella's medical condition makes it a very tough match and it's going to take a lot of holiday spirit to make her wish come true.
"My sister is having a really tough time," said Sophia Falzarine. "If everybody has time to pray tonight that she might get a kidney soon, that would be great."