HAMILTON, NJ - Robert Leibowitz of Hamilton is on a quest to find a kidney donor.
Leibowitz suffers from chronic kidney disease, a result of a serious kidney infection he had when he was 12 years old. His doctor told him he would eventually need a kidney transplant, and he is on the transplant donor list. But he needs a donor who is a rare O positive. In the meantime, he is on dialysis three times a week, four hours a day.
A chance encounter in the Magic Kingdom on Aug. 22 may just improve his odds in finding a compatible donor. Thanks to a picture that Rocio Sandoval snapped there, where Leibowitz was celebrating his 60th birthday with his five children, his story has gone viral.
Sandoval, of Missoula, Montana, had asked him if it would be okay to take a picture of his shirt that said In Need of a Kidney, O Positive, Call 917-597-2651; he said yes, and hugged her.
Sandoval posted the picture on Facebook, and so far it has been shared more than 73,000 times. Her chance encounter with Leibowitz has also made the local news in Florida.
The National Kidney Foundation has information on What to Know if you are interested in being a kidney donor. On average, a kidney from a living donor lasts about 15 to 20 years.