Alicia Mulero surprised her ailing father with the offer to save his life by donating one of her kidneys to him. Photo by Savejrslife/Go Fund Me
For Alicia Mulero, the most difficult part of hearing that her beloved father needed a kidney transplant was the fact that he lived more than a thousand miles away. The 24-year-old makes her home in Kansas with her young son, whereas her ailing dad, Herminio Mulero, has been suffering through stage-5 kidney disease back home in Florida. So when Alicia decided to take his health into her hands and pursue giving him one of her kidneys, the used the distance to her advantage and kept her selfless gesture a secret until she recently determined that she’s a viable match.
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“They say most children only match three out of six markers, she matches four,” Herminio’s wife, Kathleen Mulero tells Bay News 9. Herminio, for his part, is just as thrilled with the discovery that Alicia’s kidney is an option as he was to learn that she wanted to donate her organ. “The waiting list could take months, years you really don’t know they have to find a match,” says the 50-year-old. “I’m very thankful to have a beautiful daughter who has very compassionate heart.”
The way Alicia sees it is as an opportunity. “It’s so amazing to me that I can help save a life — and it’s my dad’s,” she says in a video post uploaded to a fundraising page that the family created to help support her during the unpaid time off she’ll have to take for the procedure. “We’ll be that much closer and he’ll have a part of me.”
The pair has always been close despite the miles between them. “We talk at least three times a week and text throughout the day,” she says, explaining that she relocated to the Midwest when she was 13 but have kept in touch with frequent calls, texts, and photos they exchange.
Their communications took a sad turn, though, after Herminio — who has been dealing with kidney problems for the past seven years — recently learned he would need a transplant. “Every time I get a call from his phone or from an out-of-state number, my heart just drops and I start to sweat and always think it’s the worst,” Alicia admits. “It’s a sad situation.”
But the solution is in sight for the duo, thankfully entering into the final stages of testing to make sure Alicia can donate to her dad. “I’m so happy and I cannot wait to get through the rest of these tests to know for sure that I can do this and I can save him and I won’t be crushed because he’s not going to get the transplant,” she says. “I’m going to be the one who’s going to do it and I’m going all the way in. One hundred percent, full force, it’s going to happen.”