A WELL-known taekwondo champ is to sell off one of his kidneys to pay for his daughter’s lavish 15th birthday party.
Argentinean Maximiliano Javier Almandoz, 40, has won gold medals representing his country in Chile and Uruguay, but makes little money from the combat sport.
Central European News Javier has won gold medals representing his country across the world
He and his family survive on the 14,000 ARS (£610) he makes a month working as a waiter and letting out a room in his home in the capital city of Buenos Aires for storage.
But Mr Almandoz was determined that his only daughter, Araceli, would have a 15th birthday party to rival that of her schoolfriends.
The landmark 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.
Mr Almondoz announced that he was putting a kidney up for sale to pay for the party on social media. “I’m selling a kidney to make my daughter’s 15-year-old party,” he said.
Central European News The fighter is determined to give Araceli the party of her dreams Central European News He hopes to become a well-paid taekwondo coach in the future
The former taekwondo champion said he would everything within his power to provide Araceli with the birthday party of her dreams.
He added: “I work 17 hours a day, from Monday to Monday, I have no alternative.”
Before taking the drastic step, he 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’.
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“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.”
Mr Almandoz said that he hoped to become a taekwondo coach in the future and make an income out of the sport.
After winning a silver medal in a national competition, Mr Almondoz represented his country at the Open 2017 of Vina del Mar in Chile where he won a gold medal.
He later won another gold medal for Argentina at the Intendance Cup of Maldonado at Puntal del Este, Uruguay.