Woman meets stranger at Magic Kingdom, helps spread word about search for kidney

Published: Monday, August 28, 2017 @ 12:49 PM

Woman Meets Man In Need Of Kidney At Magic Kingdom, Helps Spread Word

A 60-year-old New Jersey man in need of a kidney is hoping the magic of Disney may be able to help him out.

A woman at the park took to Facebook to tell the man’s story and get the word out after meeting him at Magic Kingdom on Tuesday. 

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Rocio Sandoval posted a picture on Facebook of the man, named Robert Leibowitz, who was wearing a shirt that read, “In need of a kidney. O positive. Call 917-597-2651.”

Read: Toddler gets kidney from ailing dad's former classmate after Facebook plea

She said he was pushing a child in a wheelchair.

Sandoval said she approached Leibowitz and asked if she could snap a picture and share it online.

“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.’”

Leibowitz said he has had kidney problems since he was 12 years old and wants to have as much time with his children as he can.

"I am a single dad. I love them more than anything in the world and they are my rocket fuel. That's what keeps me going," he said. 

Read: Wife creates special baseball card to tell husband she is a kidney donor match

A doctor recently told Leibowitz he needed to go on dialysis three times a week for four hours a day, and receive a transplant.

Leibowitz is on five different donor lists.

He said his 14-year-old daughter came up with the idea for the shirt and that he knew wearing it on his Disney trip would help him get a lot of exposure. 

Read: Seminole County deputy gets new kidney thanks to 8-person kidney exchange

"I figured that is the best place to do it in a week," he said. "It is very hard to get a kidney and there are not a lot of donors out there, or with O positive (blood type). I am universal, but I have to get an O back."

Leibowitz said he was shocked at the amount of people trying to help him out.

"The response has been absolutely amazing. I get very emotional about it," he said. "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." 

Read: Florida doctor turns to Facebook to search for a kidney donor

Sandoval’s Facebook post was shared 33,000 times within 24 hours. By Monday, it had been shared more than 64,000 times.

Anyone interested in donating would have to call the donor transplant number and say they would like to see if they are eligible to donate to Robert Leibowitz. 

Becoming an Organ Donor

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 123,000 Americans are on a waiting list to receive an organ transplant and more than 101,000 need a kidney.

The foundation said 17,000 people receive one each year and that 12 people a day die waiting for a kidney. 

Deceased Donation

You can visit the Donate Life America website to join your state's online registry for donation. You can also declare your intentions on your driver's license.

The National Kidney Foundations says letting your family or other loved one's know about your decision is vitally important. Family members are often asked to give consent for a loved one's donation.

Living Donation

You can also consider being a living kidney donor. Living donation is when when a living person donates an organ or part of an organ to someone in need of a transplant. The donor is most often a close family member, such as a parent, child, brother or sister. A donor can also be a more distant family member, spouse, friend or co-worker.

Religion and Organ Donation

Virtually all religious denominations approve of organ and tissue donation as representing the highest humanitarian ideals and the ultimate charitable act, the foundation says

Florida group raffles off rifle to benefit children's program

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:50 PM

An assault rifle is a prize in a raffle to raise money for programs to help disadvantaged children. (Photo: WFTV.com)
An assault rifle is a prize in a raffle to raise money for programs to help disadvantaged children. (Photo: WFTV.com)

An assault rifle is a prize in a raffle to raise money for programs to help disadvantaged children.

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Channel 9 found out that phone calls to buy tickets for the raffle go to three Central Florida county jails.

The flyer advertising the raffle was created by the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency.

It advertises a chance to win an AR-15 rifle. There are phone numbers on the flyer to buy $20 tickets.

Every one of the numbers directs the caller to someone's desk at the Orange, Seminole and Osceola County jails.

Some were perplexed by the offer.

“Probably a good value, but it’s very bizarre and counterintuitive,” said Andrew Shure.

Information on the raffle to win the $1,200 gun was tweeted by the St. Cloud police.

The local Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency chapter said the $6,800 or so raised would be used for community projects, like buying gifts for underprivileged children.

“They could raffle off a car or something other than a gun. That doesn’t make sense to raffle off a gun,” said Laura Stephenson.

Officials in Orange and Seminole counties seemed surprised that calls for information about the AR-15 raffle were going to county jail offices.

There is an asterisk on the flyer that said the winner must comply with applicable laws and background checks.

A member of this organization said that they won't really be handing over a rifle to the winner, but instead a certificate they can use to pick up the gun.

Researchers find meteorites from Michigan meteor

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:06 PM

A piece of stony-iron meteorite sits on a display during a press conference, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, at the Longway Planetarium in Flint, Mich. Longway Planetarium astronomers have located three meteorites, after a meteor broke apart about 20 miles over Earth Tuesday. Most of the meteorite’s fragments landed in Hamburg Township, Mich. The meteor will be sent to NASA for analysis. (Bronte Wittpenn/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)
Bronte Wittpenn/AP
A piece of stony-iron meteorite sits on a display during a press conference, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, at the Longway Planetarium in Flint, Mich. Longway Planetarium astronomers have located three meteorites, after a meteor broke apart about 20 miles over Earth Tuesday. Most of the meteorite’s fragments landed in Hamburg Township, Mich. The meteor will be sent to NASA for analysis. (Bronte Wittpenn/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)(Bronte Wittpenn/AP)

Researchers with the American Meteor Society found two meteorites just days after a meteor lit up the sky across part of Michigan, according to a tweet from AMS.

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“We are happy and excited to report, two meteorites from the Jan. 16th fall have been found in Michigan,” the Thursday tweet said. “Congratulations to Robert Ward and Larry Atkins on the first two reported finds.”

A group from Longway Planetarium and the Farmington Community Stargazer also recovered a meteorite and planned to share more details about its discovery, according to WDIV.

The meteorites were found near Charlotte, Michigan and near Whitmore Lake, according to WDIV. The AMS received more than 650 reports of a fireball from people in Michigan, Ohio and Canada.

Women's marches, events taking place across nation

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 12:20 PM

WATCH: Scenes From 2018 Women's March

A series of women’s marches, protests and voter registration events are taking place across the country this weekend.

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. In 2017, the Women’s March on Washington drew a large crowd that marched in protest of Trump’s election. Women’s marches were held across the country and the world.

For 2018, marches and rallies are being held in cities across the country throughout the weekend. There will be a voter registration drive on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:17 AM

Man Punches Himself Repeatedly to Avoid Breathalyzer Test, Police Said

Police have accused a Maine man of punching himself several times in the face to avoid a Breathalyzer test, The Bangor Daily News reported.

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Police suspected Brian Fogg, 27, of Belfast, to be intoxicated when they were called to a residence on Jan. 13 and found Fogg’s vehicle stuck in a ditch, police said. Belfast police said Fogg and a homeowner had gotten into an argument, and Fogg allegedly struck and dented the homeowner’s car.

After Fogg failed a sobriety test, police took him to jail and attempted to give him a Breathalyzer test, the Daily News reported.

As officers were explaining the testing process, Fogg allegedly punched himself in the face several times, the Daily News reported.

Belfast Detective Sgt. Gerry Lincoln said that Fogg “took that option (punching himself), which wasn’t one of the ones we gave to him.” 

He added that because people had option of declining to take a Breathalzyer test, it was unusual for someone to injure himself to avoid it.“We took that as a refusal to take the test,” Lincoln told the Daily News.

Fogg was charged with operating under the influence anyway, in addition to criminal mischief and falsifying physical evidence. He was released on bail, police said.