After waiting on several different kidney donor lists for years without success, one 60-year-old dad recently decided to take matters into his own hands.
He crafted a t-shirt that read “In need of kidney,” along with his blood type and phone number. Then he wore it to Disney World when he visited recently along with his five children. Fortunately, a fellow park visitor saw his shirt and posted a picture of it online. Now Robert Leibowitz’s request has since gone viral.
It all started when Rocio Sandoval visited Disney World along with her husband. While there, she saw Leibowitz’s shirt and asked him if she could take a quick picture to share online. He turned around with the biggest smile and happily agreed.
Sandoval wrote in a Facebook post about the experience:
“He gave us both a hug and said, ‘Thank you. Please share this with the world.’”
So Sandoval did, posting the picture (and her story to accompany it) on Facebook. It has since received over 11,000 likes and 90,ooo shares as the public has tried to find a donor for Leibowitz. And while Leibowitz has yet to find a kidney match, he told WFTV that he was blown away by the overwhelming amount of supportive responses he’d received.
See Sandoval’s viral post below:
Complicating matters for Leibowitz is his blood type: O-positive blood types can donate to all other blood types, but can only receive from O-positives themselves. According to ABC News, Leibowitz is currently on donor lists at five different hospitals. He’s been undergoing 12 hours of dialysis every week for the past three years in an attempt to manage his chronic kidney disease.
Kidney donor lists remain long
According to the National Kidney Foundation, over 100,000 of the 121,678 people waiting for lifesaving organ transplants in the United States are waiting for kidneys. The median wait time for a kidney donation is 3.6 years. And on average, more than 3,000 new patients get added to the kidney list every month.
Those interested in donating a kidney to Leibowitz would have to find out if they are an eligible donor. Those who would like to get in touch with Leibowitz can call him at 917-597-2651. This father of five wants more time with his kids. So let’s see if we can harness the magical power of Disney and the internet to give him just that.