Robert Leibowitz, 60, had suffered from chronic kidney disease for many years. In August 2017 he took his five children to Disney World wearing a T-shirt with the plea for a donor.
A random snap of him posted online gave Leibowitz 30 more years with his family and a new friend.
New Jersian was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease at the age of 12
Since then his health had been deteriorating. Four years ago Robert Leibowitz learned he had to receive dialysis three times a week and look for a donor.
None of his children could be a match because of blood type. Robert’s name was placed in the waiting list but waiting could take decades.
Leibowitz decided to take the matter in his own hands
He made a T-shirt with a print that said “In Need Of Kidney” and had his phone number. The man believed it could attract attention of more people and accelerate the process of search.
And he was right!
The man took his family to nine-days-long trip to Florida. As they went to Disneyland, Robert turned himself to a walking sandwich board.
A woman, Raco Sandoval, took a photo of Robert in his tee and posted it online
The picture went viral within a week and was shared more than 90,000 times.
Leibowitz received over 300 calls and texts with offers of donating as well as words of support. He said it was incredible.
“I got my doubts sometimes about humanity, but the fact that I got so many calls, it brought tears to my eyes,” he told AP.
Four people were tested for matching Robert
One of the volunteers, Richie Sully, 38, from Indiana was a perfect donor match. Sully and Leibowitz quickly became friends, and now Robert calls his donor a superhero.
“We had so much in common, no awkwardness,” Leibowitz said. “It was a match made in heaven.”
Sully took several 18-hours-long trips from Fort Wayne, Indiana to New York to prepare for the procedure. Kidney transplantation went successfully on January, 18.
Now Robert has another 30 years to spend with his children.
Sully was released from hospital two days after the surgery
But he continues to visit Robert every day.
Once Leibowitz recovers, his family, Sandoval and Sully will reunite to take a trip to Disney World, a magic place that saved Robert’s life.
Featured image: Facebook