25-Year-Old Girl Becomes her Father’s Kidney Donor — In Secret (VIDEO)
She shared his emotional reaction in a viral TikTok.
Two years ago, doctors diagnosed John Ivanowski, 60, with IgA nephropathy, a type of kidney disease.
At best, it can be treated and the progression of the damage can be slowed for several years, according to the National Kidney Foundation. In the worst-case scenarios, it can result in kidney failure.
A Father in Need of a Kidney Donor
Unfortunately, John’s was a worst-case scenario. His kidneys were failing. After months of feeling sick and lethargic, his wife Paula, and daughter Delayne, finally convinced him to see his nephrologist.
The news was grim.
“In his office, the doctor informed my dad that he was not sure if he had 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months to live,” Delayne shared in a GoFundMe to raise funds to cover medical bills.
His doctor immediately put John on dialysis which meant he was “sitting hooked up to a machine for 3-4 hours a day 3 days a week.”
Dialysis was just a bandaid fix, however. What John really needed was a kidney transplant. However, kidney donors are hard to come by. According to organdonor.gov, nearly 100,000 people are currently on the waiting list in the U.S. Every 10 minutes another person is added to the list. It would be several years before John’s name reached the top.
So, Delayne offered hers. Her father wasn’t having it.
“I told her, I’m not taking your kidney,'” John told ABC News. “I told her that flat out.”
Tragically, he had already lost his son, Delayne’s brother, to cancer 16 years ago. There was no way he was going to risk his daughter’s life, now or in the future. He was adamant that she not donate her kidney.
But apparently, John isn’t the only stubborn one in the family. Delayne is too.
A Daughter Becomes an “Anonymous Donor”
She went behind her father’s back and started the months-long process to test whether or not she was a match.
After countless medical tests, she got the answer she was hoping for.
“John had no idea I was going through the testing. After numerous blood draws, EKG, chest x-ray, CT scan, I got the call. I was a match!” she said.
Her father got the life-changing call in August. “They called me at work and said, ‘We’ve got an anonymous donor,’ and I about dropped the phone and thought are you kidding me?” he recalled. “People can be on the [kidney waiting] list for five, six, seven, eight years and go through dialysis for that long, and I just couldn’t believe it.”
He had no idea the “anonymous donor” was actually his daughter. It’s a secret she would keep for more than nine months.
Originally scheduled for November, the surgery had to be postponed after he fell out of a tree hanging a deer stand.
Finally, the day of the surgery arrived — February 16.
Still, Delanye managed to hide the truth. With the help of the medical team and some serious cloak-and-dagger moves, she kept her secret from her unsuspecting dad.
The transplant was a success. It was time for Delanye to come clean.
She captured the moment in a tear-jerking TikTok video that has gone viral with over 4.4M views. Grab a tissue, you’ll need it.
The Truth About the Kidney Donor is Finally Revealed
As soon as Delayne walks through the door in her hospital gown, John realizes what his daughter has done. His expression is every dad’s “why didn’t you listen to me” face.
“Oh my god, are you kidding me?” He bursts into tears. As Delayne comforts him, he tells her, “I knew you were up to something.”
“I’m always up to something,” she cheekily responds.
The video has garnered over 600K likes and nearly 9K comments. Many commenters agreed that Delanye did what she had to do.
“He wouldn’t have taken it if he had known,” wrote one reply.
“It’s true, most parents would never take an organ from their child. Just in case something ever happened to them,” another wrote.
A third wrote, “You’re amazing. That’s a lot for dad to process… we never want our children to sacrifice for us. Bless you both!”
Raising Funds And Awareness of the Need for Organ Donations
Delayne posted the video in part to raise funds to help pay for her surgery. She captioned it, “if 6,000 people venmoed me $1 I could cover the cost for my kidney transplant to my dad!”
She also started a GoFundMe page, thanking her parents for “how much they have sacrificed for me in my 25 years of living” and her mother “for being the strongest woman in the world.”
So far, she’s raised nearly $10,000.
Delayne chose to go against her father’s wishes and in doing so gave him the most incredible gift — the gift of life. A gift he will undoubtedly spend a lifetime cherishing.
Her act was one of bravery and love and just goes to show how far people will go for the ones they love. It also sheds light on the importance of organ donation. Something Delayne hopes more people will consider.
“If anything, I’ve saved one life and hopefully I can, with awareness and other things, save other lives by encouraging people to become donors or to take that next step and go get the testing done to become a match,” said Delayne. “It hurts, but all the pain is worth it in the end I think.”