Robert Liebowitz, a 60-year-old father of five, suffered from kidney disease from the age of 12. He was in need of a Kidney Donation and was on a long transplant waiting list. Time was running low, and he knew his time was near, so he decided to take one last trip to Walt Disney World with his family. He decided to wear a shirt his daughter designed that had a message advertising that he was in need of a kidney. After wearing this shirt for nine days, people took notice and began taking photos and videos. One Viral photo saved his life.

How the shirt with a message saved a man's life

Robert Liebowitz designed a shirt with the help of his daughter advertising that he was in need of a new kidney. The shirt was simple, it read "In need of a kidney. O positive". The shirt also included Liebowitz's phone number. He wore his shirt for nine days while in Disney World. People took notice and began taking photos then sharing them on social media.

There was one Facebook post by Rocio Sandoval with an impressive reach of 91,000 shares. When Sandoval asked if it was okay to take the picture and share it, Liebowitz was enthusiastic. Then, a man by the name of Richie Sully saw the post. This hero got tested and found he was a suitable donor.

He flew himself to New York City to donate his kidney. The surgery was successfully performed on January 18th, 2018. Now, Liebowitz and Sully plan to return to Disney World and are hoping Sandoval will join them.

Why are donor waiting lists so long?

According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are currently 100,791 people waiting for a kidney transplant.

Over 3,000 new patients are added to the waitlist every month. Every day, 13 people die while waiting for a kidney transplant. The median wait time for an individual's first kidney transplant is 3.6 years, but this depends on organ availability, compatibility, and overall health. These waiting lists are so long simply because of a lack of donors.

It is not a first come first serve basis; kidneys are allocated based on priority. Patients who are especially hard to match have a priority.

In the more positive news, kidney donation received an unexpected boost recently, after Selena Gomez shared the story of her own struggles with kidney disease. Suffering from lupus, the singer's kidney's were failing to the point where she needed an urgent transplant. Luckily for Gomez, her friend Francia Raisa stepped up to donate a kidney, potentially saving the young singer's life.