After being told she was too overweight to donate a life-saving kidney to her father, a Georgia woman lost more than 55 pounds in order to save the life of her “superhero” dad.
“He is my superhero, he is the man I have looked up to all my life,” Dawn Muhammad of Atlanta told “Good Morning America” of her father, Lucious Daniels. “He has sacrificed a lot for our family, a lot,” she added. In 2016, Daniels was diagnosed with Stage 4 at the age of 71. Doctors told Daniels that without a transplant he had little chance of survival.
“They told me that I would be on a wait list waiting for a kidney to become available,” Daniels told “GMA.”
“It would be pretty far down on the list and at my age, I would be running out of time.” Muhammad said right away she knew that she had to do everything she could to help save the man that gave her life, and she headed straight to the hospital, where doctors told her that her Body Mass Index (BMI) was too high to be a donor.
After hearing the news, Muhammad said she “cried.” “I looked at myself in the mirror and I said, ‘Let’s try this, let’s try this, let’s really try and commit to it,'” Muhammad said. “We told my father, ‘This isn’t the end, this can’t be the end, we have got to find a moment to help.'”
“That is my first love,” she added.
“We have got to find out how we can help!” Muhammad then embarked on the personal journey of losing 55 pounds in order to be able to give her father her kidney — all without telling him about the plan.
To lose the weight, Muhammad said she gave up sugar. “Sugar is the devil,” she said. “[I] started cutting down the carbs and I started working out really hard.” Muhammad said she b-roke down in tears when she finally reached her goal and broke the news to her father.
“I said, ‘Dad can I tell you a secret? I have been losing this weight not just for me, but for you!'” she recalled.
“‘This weight loss has been for you, I need you to give me that paperwork, I need to be that donor for you.'” Muhammad was the perfect match, and to share her excitement about being able to save her father’s life she wrote him a poem, which she presented to him in a card.
“Always and forever, that is how long I will love you, to my daddy, my first superhero, my first love,” Muhammad said, reading from the surprise poem she presented him. “Now its time for me to make the ultimate sacrifice for you, how could I work hard to lose weight and prove my health and not come through.”
She continued: “From my kidney’s to yours, I love you Daddy!”
Daniels said he couldn’t be more proud of his daughter for giving him this gift.
“I knew that being on the waiting list for a long period of time was not going to make it happen,” he said. “So I was very, very happy that she came along and decided to do it for me, for her dad.”
Muhammad said she has a message for other potential organ donors.
“Just do it,” she said. “It’s a selfless act. It’s an act of love, not an act of sacrifice. I was blessed enough to help my father and I’m praying that someone else can do the same for their loved one.”
This Article Was First Published on “abcnews.go.com”