ATLANTA - Dawn Muhammad's secret was revealed in an Aug. 7 Facebook post.
Unbeknownst to her family and friends, the wife and mother of two had spent the past 16 months on a wellness journey, in hopes of donating a kidney to her father. Just weeks ago her prayers were answered, doctors determined she is a perfect match.
"I'm very thankful to be able to help my father have normalcy in his life," Muhammad told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes.
Muhammad's father, Lucious Daniels, has been undergoing dialysis at Piedmont Fayette Hospital twice a week since being diagnosed with stage four kidney failure in August 2016.
"Being on dialysis was something that I had to do in order to survive. I didn't have a choice, " Daniels said.
The 74-year-old's name was added to the long list of people in need of life saving kidney transplants nationwide.
As Daniels began dialysis treatments, his eldest daughter Dawn was embarking on her own private journey in hopes of saving her dad's life by becoming a living donor.
After learning her blood type might make her a donor match for her dad, but her BMI – or body mass index – was too high to be a candidate for organ donation, in December of 2016 she hired a personal trainer, changed her eating habits and took other measures to get down to a healthy weight.
Over the next 16 months she quietly worked towards her goal, losing 55 pounds and 30 inches. Muhammad dropped four dress sizes, going from a size 20 to a 14.
In April, with her weight at a healthy level Muhammad told her dad about her plans. On July 2 she received the call, she was a perfect match.
"I was at work and I received that phone call. It was 9 in the morning when I got the call, and the first thing they said was 'You are a perfect match with your father, you are a perfect match.'"
Muhammad broke the news to her parents and other loved ones at a family gathering. Father and daughter are scheduled to undergo transplant surgery at Piedmont Hospital Aug. 31.
"When it finally sunk in and I finally stopped crying all I could do is give her a hug and all the other family members were there and we hugged and thanked God for his blessings," Daniels said.