Bay Area mayor offers his father life-saving gift by donating part of his liver

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Friday, June 16, 2023
Bay Area mayor saves his dad's life by donating part of his liver
San Pablo Mayor Abel Pineda offered his father a life-saving gift by donating part of his liver.

SAN PABLO, Calif. (KGO) -- This Father's Day is particularly special for one Bay Area family. Manuel Pineda has a new lease on life thanks to the incredible gift from his son, Abel. Abel donated part of his liver.

"There literally is a part of me in him, just like there's a part of him in me," said 31-year old Abel Pineda. "I donated the right lobe to my father. And this is what remained in me. How lucky are we that the liver is something that completely regenerates."

Abel who happens to be the Mayor of San Pablo shared his incredible story on TikTok.

"In this video, I wanted to tell a story about what it was like going thru this process of finding out that my father is ill," said Abel.

Back in 2021, doctors discovered that Manuel was ill and needed a new liver.

VIDEO: Families celebrate 2 Bay Area moms who donated organs to infant daughters this Mother's Day

This year Mother's Day will be an extra special one for several two whose mothers recently gave their kids the gift of an organ transplant.

"Manuel had what we call liver disease, fatty liver disease. He had a condition where the liver built up too much fat and got cirrhosis from that. And that's why he needed a liver transplant," said Dr. John Roberts with UCSF.

Manuel was put on a transplant list, but it was going to be a very long wait. Abel learned he could help.

"I learned about being a living donor. Part of being a living donor is you get to expedite the process for someone to receive a transplant," said Abel.

But for that to happen, Abel learned he had to lose weight.

"I started eating better. I started exercising more regularly," said Abel.

MORE: SoCal man who donated kidney to Bay Area woman will donate part of his liver to baby

In three months, Abel lost more than 50 pounds. And to get ready to receive an organ, Abel's father also lost weight.

"Manuel had lost about 50 pounds after his stomach stapling surgery," said Dr. Roberts.

UCSF doctors say it took a lot of work. But an organ transplant was possible.

"AT UCSF, we do about 150 liver transplants every year and about 25 of those are from living donors. We think we could probably do more and we think we could save more lives if more people came forward and were able to donate," said Dr. Roberts.

Manuel's surgery was a success. He's grateful for the team of doctors and surgeons at UCSF. And, he's grateful for his son's gift.

VIDEO: Daughter gives part of organ to save mother's life in world's first non-identical organ swap

A teen went to great lengths to save her mother's life when she donated part of an organ in the world's first non-identical organ swap to get her mom a kidney.

"I appreciate the donation to continue my life," said Manuel.

Abel says it's the best gift he could have ever given his father.

"I feel fortunate and blessed to give back to someone who gave me life," said Abel. "I feel like he has sacrificed and has worked so hard through his entire life and for me to able to do this for him and for my family, I think its important."

With Father's Day just around the corner, we asked Manuel how he feels.

"Yo siento muy satisfecho and contena porque dios me regala un otro dia mas," said Manuel.

"He said 'I'm very happy that God gave me another day of life. I'm just grateful to be here," according to Abel's translation for his father.

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