Knowing he would be surrounded by throngs of people during a trip to Disney World in August, Robert Leibowitz wore a shirt with a message he wanted seen by as many eyes as possible: “In Need of Kidney O Positive Call 917-597-2651.”
Leibowitz, a 60-year-old single dad from New Jersey, has had chronic kidney disease for decades and been on dialysis for years. A woman stopped Leibowitz and asked if she could snap a photo of his shirt and share it on Facebook; by the end of the trip, it had been shared 40,000 times, and strangers were calling Leibowitz, asking if they could help. Ultimately, five people were tested, and it turned out that one of them, Richie Sully of Indiana, was a match.
The family received the news last week, and “I was in shock,” Leibowitz’s 17-year-old son, Max, told People. “All the worrying about whether he’s gonna be able to go to my high school graduation or not is just all gone.” Sully said he’s healthy and saw this as “just another way to help someone out.” After the transplant, Sully and the Leibowitz family want to go back to where it all began: Disney World. “That’s where the magic really happened,” Max said. Catherine Garcia
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