A 40-year-old Argentine Taekwondo player, Maximiliano Javier Almandoz, needs to raise funds to pay for his daughter’s 15th birthday celebrations.
Despite having won gold medals representing his country in Chile and Uruguay, he makes little money from his sport. He and his family survive on the 14,000 Argentine pesos (£610) a month he makes working as a waiter and letting out a room in his Buenos Aires home for storage.
But Maximiliano is determined that his only daughter, Araceli, will have a 15th birthday party to rival that of her school friends. The 15th birthday – or Quinceanera – is a big deal in Latin American countries where it is celebrated with a ball to mark the transition from childhood to young womanhood.
Maximiliano announced on social media that he was putting a kidney up for sale to pay for the party. “I’m selling a kidney to make my daughter’s 15-year-old party,” he said.
He added: “I work 17 hours a day, from Monday to Monday, I have no alternative.” Before taking the drastic step, he had tried selling his car, playing the lottery and looking for another job without success.
“Maybe it’s silly, but I want the best. If she is happy, I am happy,” he explained. “Her classmates have their parties, it would be very frustrating for me not to do it. When time passes and she says she did not have her 15th like everyone else, she will kill me.
If I can save a life and give my daughter her party, it is perfect. From the age of 11, she has been telling me, ‘Dad, my dream is to have the 15th, but let’s go to Disneyland’.
Where do I get the money to go to Disneyland? I’m a father who is a worker and all I can do is this, because I will not steal, I prefer to sell an organ.” Maximiliano hopes to become a taekwondo coach to earn a living from the sport.