WENTZVILLE, Mo. — A Wentzville neighborhood lit up green Thursday to hold a very special parade for a resilient family.
Jaxson Dreiling is only 10 years old and he was diagnosed with kidney disease and needed a transplant.
He was able to get a new kidney, and following the surgery, the family’s Wentzville neighborhood held a parade to welcome them home.
“Last January 2022, Jackson was diagnosed with kidney disease. Kind of came out of nowhere, and took us all by surprise. And it quickly progressed to dialysis by March,” Jaxson’s mom Kate Dreiling said.
Dreiling said it’s been a hard year for the whole family.
“I had to step down from my job to take care of him full-time since he required full-time care,” Kate Dreiling said.
Jaxson needed a kidney transplant which could have taken years, fortunately, his donor was a lot closer than they realized.
“I was a match. So here we are. How do you say no to that? It's my son. So, then we went and went through tons of testing, a lot of blood work,” Kate Dreiling said.
Finally, on Jan. 19, surgeons at two different hospitals worked their magic to take Kate’s kidney and give it to Jaxson.
“My husband was trying to bounce between two hospitals, two OR’s, two family members being under at the same time. So, it was a lot to take on. But here we are, and I'm proud to say he's doing good,” Kate Dreiling said.
After 16 days in the hospital, this parade was exactly the kind of uplifting they needed.
The whole neighborhood went green for Jaxson and his mom. Neighbors changed out regular light bulbs for green ones.
“I'm a pretty reserved, quiet person for the most part. So, to see that, many people are standing behind myself and my son, it's actually really emotional," Kate Dreiling said. "I don't really have a lot of words for it. It just it's comforting to know that we have that many people in our corner.”
Jaxson's dad, Ryan, is a firefighter. Some of the crew he works with came out to show their support.
“We're all a family. And it was the neatest thing to be able to come up here and be a part of this," said Dave McKay of the West County Fire Department. "I don't know how in the world we could keep it a secret. But anyway, just to be a part of it, we love both of them and we think it's the neatest thing that he was able to get a kidney.”
To help the family with continued expenses you can donate here.