Dad’s plea for kidney donor during Disney trip goes viral

A chance encounter between a woman from Montana and a New Jersey dad at Orlando’s Magic Kingdom may help the man receive a much-needed kidney. Rocio Yanira Sandoval spotted Robert Leibowitz walking with his family on Aug. 22 and noticed the message on his shirt.

“In need of a kidney. O positive. Call 917-597-2651.”

Leibowitz, 60, told WFTV that his 14-year-old daughter came up with the idea for a shirt, and that they figured wearing it at Disney would give him maximum exposure.

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After asking if she could take a picture and share it online, Sandoval learned that Leibowitz has been battling kidney issues since he was 12, and has been placed on five different donor lists.

“Juan asked if we could snap a picture to share online, this man turned around with the biggest smile, so grateful and said, ‘Yes please!’” Sandoval posted, on Aug. 25. “He gave us both a hug and said ‘Thank you, please share this with the world.’”

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Sandoval’s post has been shared more than 89,000 times. She said she contacted Leibowitz to tell him about the outpouring of support.

 “The response has been absolutely amazing. I get very emotional about it,” he told WFTV. “Over a million people have seen it already and the calls keep coming in, in terms of text and phone calls from all over the country which is amazing.”

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