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10-year-old from South Fayette goes public in hopes of finding living kidney donor for her dad

South Fayette girl asks for a living kidney donor for her dad
South Fayette girl asks for a living kidney donor for her dad 03:56

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Daniella Neve from South Fayette is one of the best 10-year-old softball players in the country.

She is now trying to hit another home run, but this time, she's trying to score a kidney.

Daniella's father, Ryan, has only 4% function in his kidneys and spends three days a week in dialysis, which not only takes time away from his family and job but is exhausting and painful.

But he doesn't let that stop him from taking Daniella to practices and traveling to her tournaments.                  

"Nobody has a better heart than her," Ryan said. "She always checks on me. She doesn't let me leave her sight. And I feel terrible that I have to put her through this, but she's so strong for me." 

Daniella's TikTok account showing her softball videos has 4 million likes and 84,000 followers. She posted a video holding a poster asking for a living kidney donation for her dad, and it went viral.

Daniella Neve is asking for help for her father.  (Photo Credit: KDKA)

"I wanted to help my dad because I know he's trying his best to get his kidney, and I really want to support him through that because ... he's very strong," she said. 

Doctor Amit Tevar, Ryan's doctor and surgical director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program at UPMC, is impressed with how Daniella is using social media.

"This is fantastic, and I think it will serve as a model for how things are done in the future," Tevar said.

"Billions of people use TikTok ... it's a good way to interact with people," Daniella said.

Tevar said Ryan's diabetes and high blood pressure caused his kidneys to rapidly fail. Without a living donor, he could wait six years for a kidney while dialysis ravages his body.

"Dialysis is not indefinite. For people on dialysis, you will eventually have a complication, and it'll lead to your demise," Tevar said.

"A lot of people, they'll call me and say, 'Hey, how do you feel?' and I say, 'It depends on the day. Tuesday and Thursday, I feel human. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I feel like a zombie,'" Ryan said.

If you'd like to help Ryan, donating a kidney is a laparoscopic surgery with two to three days in the hospital and a couple more days to recover. It will extend Ryan's lifespan by two to three times.   

"You can't understate that you are truly saving someone's life," Dr. Tevar said.

"Imagine not knowing whether or not you're going to have the strength to walk your children to their graduation," Ryan said. "It's hard for me to ask for help because I've been so blessed in life, and I've always wanted to help people. But I'm on the other end now, and I need help."

If you'd like to see if you're a match to donate a kidney to Ryan, click here. Fill out the form and include Ryan Neve's name. The folks at UPMC will then reach out to explain more about what it means to be a donor and how to find out if you're a match.

For more stories on young people in our region and resources for kids and families, go here.

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