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Christmas wish: Colorado Springs special needs boy asks for serv - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Christmas wish: Colorado Springs special needs boy asks for service dog

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9-year-old Nate Feola asks Santa for a service dog this Christmas. (KOAA) 9-year-old Nate Feola asks Santa for a service dog this Christmas. (KOAA)
COLORADO SPRINGS -

At only 9 years old Nate Feola has already been through quite a bit, he now suffers from chronic lung disease, along with a laundry list of other things, and can't go anywhere without his oxygen tank.

His parents hope a service dog will give Nate the freedom that every 9-year-old deserves.

"And now he's getting big enough, he doesn't want to hold my hand anymore," Lisa Feola, Nate's mother said.

Nate Feola was born at 24 weeks, weighing in at only 1 pound, 8 ounces.

"He'll never be off of oxygen," Randy Feola, Nate's father said.

He spent the first five months of his life in the hospital, only to end up fighting for his life again when his biological parents took him home.

"Then while he was with his biological parents, they broke his bones, he had ten different fractures in his arms and legs when we got a call from a foster company," Lisa said.

Thankfully, he's in better care now with his adoptive parents Lisa and Randy Feola.

But he's still struggling through chronic lung disease and can't live without his oxygen tank.

"Between the tank and the weight of the backpack it's probably close to 20 pounds," Randy said.

"We want him to be as independent as he can be and have that freedom to run in the park," Lisa said.

So this Christmas, Lisa says, "Our goal is to get him a service dog."

All in order to help Nate gain a sense of independence in his life.

"I want him to be as normal as he can be, that's a difficult thing with him," Randy said.

The service dog would be trained to wear a special saddle to hold his oxygen tank and help him with his balance.

"Not just to where he can walk but to where he can run and he can play and he can do things independently even if he can't live independently," he said.

"Make him feel like he's just a kid like everybody else," Lisa said.

A four-legged Christmas present that can guide and support Nate, without all of the cords attached.

"He can go outside and he can play and he can go on uneven surfaces and still be able to stand, that's a big Christmas present," Randy said.

In order to make this happen for Nate, his family says they need the community's help.

They have started a crowd funding website where, as of Wednesday night, they are almost halfway to their $14,000 goal which will pay for the trained service dog.

Click here if you'd like to help.

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