Rocio Yanira Sandoval and her husband Juan were enjoying their vacation at Disney World when they were struck by the words on another park-goer’s shirt. Robert Leibowitz, a single father of five, was wearing a t-shirt that read: “In Need of Kidney O Positive.” At the time, Robert was pushing a child in a wheelchair, so Rocio and Juan initially assumed the kidney was for the child. When they spoke to him, Robert revealed it was, in fact, him was in need of a kidney and he was letting one of his kids use the wheelchair he’d rented for himself so he could stretch his legs.
On Tuesday Juan and I celebrated his birthday at Magic Kingdom. On our way out we saw this man pushing a teenage boy in…
Robert discovered his kidney failure at age 40, when doctors sent him to a nephrologist after noticing his creatinine levels were high. Now almost 60, Robert receives dialysis treatments four hours a day, three times a week and is on the list for possible kidney donations at five hospitals. After hearing Robert’s heartbreaking story, Juan and Rocio asked if they could take a photo of Robert’s shirt to share on Facebook. Robert happily agreed, not knowing how widespread a single post would become. The picture was shared 35,000 times in the first 24 hours and has currently been shared more than 88,000 times.
Robert says he has received more than 200 text messages and calls thanks to the post and he plans on responding to each one in hopes of finding an eventual donor. Rocio and Juan were shocked to see how many people shared the post. The couple is hopeful that the viral photo will not only help Robert but also help raise general awareness about the need for organ donations. And thanks to one couple’s seemingly small act of kindness, one dad is a giant step closer to getting the help he desperately needs.