Massillon daughter donates her own kidney to save her father’s life

Dan Datkuliak says he is his daughter’s biggest cheerleader when she runs as without her he would not be alive. (Source: WOIO)
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 12:53 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Dan Datkuliak said he is his daughter’s biggest cheerleader. The reason is simple, he wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.

“I knew that my kidneys were failing, and I knew I was going to go on dialysis soon, but Angela insisted she was going to give me a kidney,” said Datkuliak.

During the pandemic, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 chronic kidney disease.

After a round of tests, it was quickly determined, Angela Hissner, his daughter, was the perfect match.

“When they said you are match it was like, oh my gosh! this is going to happen. We can do this,” said Hissner.

In 2021, they went under the knife.

Soon after the surgery she was back on her feet, doing what she loved doing, running.

Incredibly, six months after donating her kidney, she ran in the Akron Marathon.

“I wanted to prove to myself that you can donate a kidney and you can still go run a marathon 6 months later,” said Hissner.

“I was there yelling and waiting for her to cross that finish line and she did it,” said Datkuliak.

Hissner said she also raised over $6,000 for a foundation for kidney donor athletes in honor of her father.

Two years later not much has changed for the father and daughter.

She is still crossing finish lines. He’s still cheering her on, but those words of encouragement are a little bit louder and mean a little more.