Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

Family still seeks kidney for son

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — James and Sandra Colantino are still praying for a miracle in the shape of a donated kidney for their son, Christian.

Their search started a year ago, with a bulletin item at their church, Our Lady Star of the Sea. Since then, Christian’s story has been told in Catholic and secular newspapers in South Carolina and Pennsylvania. The Catholic Miscellany reported on the story April 20.

Colantino said six people have approached the family in recent months, offering to donate a kidney. Two were from South Carolina, including fellow parishioner Ed Vaitis, and four were from the family’s home state of Pennsylvania. All of the prospective donors were turned down for reasons ranging from the wrong blood type to medical problems, he said. The Colantinos are considered ineligible because they are in their 70s.

Both Christian, 44, and his brother Jimmy, 46, have been blind since birth and have learning disabilities. Christian has only 18 percent kidney function, while Jimmy’s kidney problems are less severe, their father said.

The Colantinos lived in Greensburg, Pa., before moving south seven years ago. Both brothers worked in their father’s shoe store there.

Christian is being treated with medication and is not on dialysis. He is on the waiting list for a new kidney at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. Colantino said the MUSC list screens for available organs locally and in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. Christian could possibly receive a cadaver kidney if one becomes available.

Colantino said the family is grateful for the medical treatment they have found in the North Myrtle Beach area, especially the care given by Dr. Jay Elms, a local nephrologist.

Colantino said that Christian “gets depressed a lot” while waiting for a new kidney, but spends a lot of his time listening to the radio and reading Braille books.

“Often, he’ll go through six to eight books a week,” James said.

He wants prospective donors to know that there is no cost to them to be tested to see if they are a compatible donor. Christian’s blood type is O positive, so a donor needs type O blood too.

Meanwhile, the Colantinos are relying on their faith to get them through the long wait.

“We absolutely pray a lot and go to church,” Colantino said. “We’re relying on the love of God and trying our best.”

Anyone interested in donating can contact the Colantinos at (843) 390-4213.






  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Oct 13 Diocesan Evangelization Conference
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Oct 278:00 am Day of Continuing Education for Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Nov 1 Black Catholic History Month
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Nov 1010:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 1210:00 am Junta Diocesana
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate