When a Canadian dad was told he needed to lose weight to save his son, he didn’t just step up to the challenge – he crushed it. Daniel Kablutsiak, a father from Arviat, Nunavut, lost 79 pounds in order to become an organ donor for his teenage son, Hunter. The 16-year-old was diagnosed with stage 5 kidney disease in 2020, and a new kidney would greatly improve his quality of life.
Daniel wanted to donate his kidney to his son, but at 274 pounds, he would need to lose at least 74 pounds to qualify as a donor. Through “determination, love, and stubbornness,” he focused on diet and exercise, cutting back on sugar and walking at least three miles every day or hitting the gym when it was too cold or when polar bears were on the prowl (a common problem in their village). And with support from his wife, Francine, he reached his goal in 13 months, weighing in at 195 pounds.
In March, Daniel was accepted as an organ donor for Hunter, and the life-saving transplant is scheduled for June. The news has already had a positive effect on Hunter. “His spirit went up, his energy,” Daniel says. “I can see the glow in his face like some kind of relief or something.” Daniel aims to continue his healthier lifestyle and hopes to inspire others facing challenges to make necessary changes in their lives. “Whatever it is, just put your mind into it and go for it,” he says. “If I can do it, anybody else can do it.”