Strangers Need Kidneys, Too.

For: Robert Leibowitz
New York, NY
Organizer: Richie Sully
Strangers Need Kidneys, Too. (Robert Leibowitz)
$7,630
of $7,000 goal.
Raised by 197 donors
100% Complete

The Story

Update - WE MATCHED!!!  Surgery will be early 2018.  I'll update you as often as I can.  Thank you again for all of your kind words and support.


August 28th - I was sitting in a chair, squeezing a little foam ball, watching blood slowly fill a Red Cross donation bag, when I got the message. Normally I wouldn’t have my phone out during the procedure, but when the worst hurricane in the history of ever is trying to drown your loved ones, your lifeline is always close by. So imagine my surprise when I opened that message from an old friend in Houston and see a link not for mandatory Harvey evacuations or severe weather updates, but instead for some dude at Disney wearing a shirt that said, “In Need of O+ Kidney.” Well, I just happen to be O+, and if I can donate blood and platelets to complete strangers that I’ll never meet, why not donate a kidney to this single father of 5? I read the Facebook post, found his number, and gave him a call. Imagine getting this voicemail: “Hey, you don’t know me, but I saw your post, I’m O+, I have an extra kidney, and you’re more than welcome to have it. Also, I’m not crazy. Or on drugs. Oh, but I am in Indiana.” Between that most epic of introductions and the 90k shares he’d gotten on FB, I wasn’t really even expecting a “thanks but no thanks” return call. Wanna take a guess as to who was wrong? Bingo! 


Fast forward 10 weeks - I’ve passed all of my preliminary evaluations, forked over a few quarts of blood and urine for testing, logged at least a million miles (approximately) on my Fitbit, lost well over 30 pounds, and found a whole new me in the process. All with exactly ZERO DIET COKE! That alone should qualify me, right? Sadly, no, no it does not. Wanna know what does? CT scans, x-rays, a couple of psych evals, and some sort of interrogation from a social worker. I hear she’s really nice though. For a New Yorker. 


This is where you come in. It seems that doing the right things isn’t free. Or even cheap. So, while Robert’s insurance will pay for the testing and the eventual surgery, I have to pay to get my happy self over to Le Huge Apple. Fortunately, once I get there, it’s also the most expensive place in the world to stay.  


I’ll share links to the original story by Roco and her interview with the local news, as well as both of Robert’s interviews. Feel free to ask me any and all questions that come to mind. If you’re able to donate, please do. If you’re not able, please share. I mean, that’s how all of this started anyway, right? 


As a father, the one thing I want above all else is more time with my beautiful daughters.  That's exactly what I'm giving this man; 20 years of healthy time spent with his kids.  No more dialysis 12 hours a week.  No more hoping and waiting.  Just peace of mind for him and his family.  I couldn't ask for anything more.  Your help is appreciated. More than you can ever know.   

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 6, 2018

UpdateImage

Posted on January 6, 2018

Well, here we are.  Less than two weeks out from surgery, Queen Elsa has frozen half of the country, and I'm about to hop a train to NYC.  Because buses are for the birds.  Fortunately, it's not like there have been any major derailments or terrorist threats with trains lately.  Thanks, NPR!  

Anyway, thank you guys for all of your help and support.  (I've tried to keep up with emails and donation thank-yous, but if I've missed you, message me and I'll right that ASAP!) I'm finally on my laptop and able to update this page and upload a few pics.  Whilst listing to P!nk absolutely crush some Janis!  

It's been brought to my attention that while our crazy story has been getting tons of media coverage, which is absolutely AWESOME, they've mostly skimmed over an unfortunately necessary part of this fairy tale: cost.  Right now I've raised just enough to cover travel and hotel, but I'm coming up short for things like food and commuting and Empire State Building snow-globes.  So I'm asking you guys for help.  Again.  Please blast this all over social media and tell every single person you see.  5 weeks off of work really puts a dent in the old nonexistent savings account.   I know Christmas bills are on their way this month, so don't put yourself out; just do what you can.  

Also, on a final note, I'm devising a clever project to get us on with Ellen.  Because people need to know about kidney disease and people on the waiting lists deserve hope.  And if I'm being honest, I'm dying to see Layla dance with Ellen, while I get the crap scared out of me by an Avenger or a demented clown or whatever.  Personally, I'd prefer a surprise song by P!nk, but that's because I'm afraid I'll pee my pants if Chris Evans jumps out at me.

Thanks, folks.  You're making a difference.


Posted on December 12, 2017

Posted on December 12, 2017

WE MATCHED!!!

After a quick trip to NYC last week, we finally have the answer we've been waiting for since August!  We've been cleared for surgery as early as next month.  There are still lots of details to work out, but I'll update this as often as I can.  Please continue to share as much as possible.  Things get expensive in Le Big Apple, but bringing attention to the desperate need for live organ donors is absolutely critical.   


Posted on November 10, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on November 10, 2017

We have an official appointment, folks!


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