LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A man desperate for true magic found it when a trip to Disney World led to a kidney donor.
“I didn’t want to lose my life and lose my kids, so I think that was motivation for me,” Robert Leibowitz said.
It was an act of desperation that brought Leibowitz to Disney World with his five kids this summer where he wore the same t-shirt for nine days straight.
“The only thing I had to do was promise my kids in 90 degrees I’ll wash it every day,” he said.
It was worth it for the Lawrenceville man who’s been dealing with kidney disease most of his life to spread the message to the thousands he passed and plead for help.
Strangers took notice and they took pictures, but it was a Facebook post shared more than 90,000 times that caught the attention of Richie Sully, a father of two who lives in Indiana.
He wrote a note which read, “my name is Richie, I’m O positive, I have an extra kidney, and you’re welcome to it.”
“I took a Greyhound to New York last month to get tested at New York Presbyterian and met Rob and hung out in Manhattan for a while,” Sully said.
The two toured the city together for hours. It turned out Sully was a match.
Next Thursday, both men will have surgery at a hospital on the east side.
Robert said the whole thing should take about four hours, and he can’t wait to wake up feeling like a new person.
He said finding a match and a new friend was a ‘miracle.’
A miracle that without the Magic Kingdom, social media, and the kindness of people, may never have been set into motion.
A fundraising page has been setup to pay for travel and living expenses while the donor is here in New York.