A Woman’s Viral Photo Could Save the Life of a Dad She Met at Disney World

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A lot of people are hoping Disney World really will be magical for one family that is going viral this week. A father in need of a kidney is getting a lot of attention, thanks to a Facebook post from a woman who spotted them and wanted to help.

A mother named Rocio Sandoval was at Disney World with her family last week, when she spotted a man with a unique custom T-shirt. He’d had a shirt printed that said “In Need of Kidney. O Positive.” and gave his phone number.

Sandoval told WFTV that she asked him if she could take a picture and post it online, and he was very grateful for the extra exposure.

“This man turned around with the biggest smile, so grateful, and said, ‘Yes, please!’” she said. “He gave us both a hug and said, ‘Thank you. Please share this with the world.’”

The man in the shirt is Robert Leibowitz, a single father of five kids. He’s had kidney troubles his whole life, and now they’ve gotten so bad that he is desperately in need of a transplant. He’s on five waiting lists for a kidney, but has had no luck.

Leibowitz’s 14-year-old daughter came up with the idea to use a T-shirt to find a kidney donor.

They hadn’t found a donor themselves, but she thought maybe if he wore it on their Disney trip, someone might see it. Disney World is very crowded and full of strangers. He thought the Disney trip would give them the best chance of someone noticing it.

Sandoval noticed it all right. She posted it on Facebook hoping maybe 100 people would see it. She has fewer than 300 Facebook friends, but she figured every little bit helps.

Within 24 hours of posting the photo, it had been shared more than 33,000 times. In the week it’s been up, it’s now been shared more than 89,000 times. That is a lot of eyes!

“The response has been absolutely amazing. I get very emotional about it,” Leibowitz 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.”

There’s no word of Leibowitz having found a kidney yet, but all this attention certainly increases his chances of finding a willing donor. And it’s also doing a lot to raise awareness of organ donation. A person who wanted to donate to Leibowitz but was not a match might be a match for someone else.

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(Image: Facebook / Rocio Yanira Sandoval)