Saratoga Springs rallies around little girl in need of transplant

June 09, 2017 05:52 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - She's a three-and-a-half year old who keeps her parents busy.

"She loves to dance and sing," says Kelly Gargano, about her daughter.

Cora Gargano's beautiful smile belies her serious condition.

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Born with a congenital heart defect, doctors discovered her failing kidneys while she was in the hospital for surgery to repair her heart.

"That was the first time I learned kidneys don't get better," Kelly said.

Her parents say Cora's kidney function now is just 18-percent. She will need a transplant, but not yet. It needs to get worse before she's a candidate.

"You just have to wait and see. It just progressively gets worse," said Kelly.

Faced with the agony of waiting for their daughter to get sicker and not matches themselves -- the Garganos are using this anxious time to try to find a match.

Hoping to have one in place before the moment they're dreading arrives.

"So when that happens, we're ready to go," said Anthony, Cora's father.

The community is rallying. Holding events like a student basketball tournament at Spa Catholic, where Anthony Gargano is a beloved coach.

The event Thursday morning was designed to raise money, and it did.

But more importantly, it was to get people talking about the need for a match for Cora.

"The importance of helping Cora is so she finds that kidney so she can live and have a successful life," said Joe Kumlander, the Spa Catholic sophomore who organized the tournament.

The Garganos remain confident that one day Cora will be better.

For that to happen, someone will have to come forward who is willing to go through the screening and testing to find out if they're the match that can save a little girl's life.

"There is somebody out there for sure," smiled Kelly.

The Garganos say they are optimistic because they have the support of their community.

"It's a long road, but it's going to be a successful one," said Anthony.

A potential match for Cora has the following characteristics:

- 25-50 years old

- Blood Type A or O

- Physically Fit

- No History of Kidney Problems

- No History of Diabetes or High Blood Pressure

Those who are interested in finding out if they're a match can email:


Mark Mulholland

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