This Hits Different, Episode 54: Daughter using TikTok to find father a new kidney

Daniella Neve, a South Fayette fifth grader, is using TikTok to help find her dad a new kidney.

In today’s episode of This Hits Different, Shelby Cassesse tells the story of Daniella Neve, a South Fayette fifth grader who is using TikTok to help find her dad a new kidney.

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Daughter using TikTok to find father a new kidney

Ten year old Daniella Neve doesn't look ten on the softball field. The South Fayette fifth grader, also known as D money, is already considered one of the top prospects for her age.

She's also getting a head start on exposure. Her uncle created a TikTok account to showcase Danielle's skills. Now it has almost 100,000 followers.

“Softball to her is the most important thing right now with what she can do to play and have fun, and she really takes it serious,” said her father, Ryan.

But if the last year has proved anything, it's that softball is not the most important thing to Daniela.

That would be her dad.

“Well, we do like, everything together,” she said.

45-year-old Ryan Neve suddenly started feeling weak. Almost out of the blue, it was hard to do anything.

“I noticed on a Thursday that I was getting fatigued, and by that Monday, a couple of days later, that I could barely breathe walking up a flight of stairs,” he said.

Tests revealed news the Neves didn't see coming. End stage renal disease. His kidneys were functioning in only 4% and he would need dialysis and a kidney transplant to have a shot at a full life.

Ryan knew the news took a toll on Daniella.

“She should be worrying about making a tag at second or if she's fielding the ball the right way,” he said. “And she's doing that on top of, every day, worrying about if her dad's going to be there the next day to play catch, or if her dad's going to be there for the next tournament, or if I'm going to be there for her wedding.”

The inseparable father daughter duo were also together less as Ryan went to treatment and Daniella traveled for softball.

“I watched every one of my teammates play with their dad on the beach,” Daniella said. “And in the back of my mind, it was just like hurting me that my dad wasn't there.”

Finding her dad a kidney became top priority for Daniella. She already had the perfect place to get started.

“I posted a video on TikTok holding up the sign, and me and my dad talking about, like, how he needs the kidney and how it affected his life so much,” she said.

That video blew up.

“Help me find that perfect match,” Ryan said in the video. “Think we can do it, D-Money?”

“Yeah,” Daniella responded, emphatically.

And word spread across the softball community.

“Me and my mom, we went online to customize these bracelets that gave the kidney donor website, and when people came up to me at softball tournaments, I would give them a bracelet and would tell them about how my dad needs a kidney,” Daniella said.

Ryan is confident an answer is close, with much of the credit going to his ten-year-old.

“It truly blows me away that there's literally a million things that she could want to do in a day, and putting her time and passion into helping me find a match is just something special,” Ryan added.

And Daniella says she won't stop until there's good news.

“It makes me happy to do that, because I just have a lot of care for my dad,” she said. “And if he's healthy, I'm healthy.”