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Published: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 @ 6:35 AM
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — While the normal wait for a donor kidney can be as long as a decade, Robert Leibowitz found a match within a few months, thanks to a T-shirt and a trip to the Magic Kingdom.
Leibowitz, a 60-year-old resident of New Jersey, made a T-shirt with his daughter before a trip to Orlando as a way to help search for a kidney donor.
Rocio Sandoval posted a picture on Facebook of Leibowitz wearing the shirt, which read, “In need of a kidney. O positive. Call 917-597-2651.”
Sandoval said she approached Leibowitz and asked if she could snap a picture and share it online.
She said he was pushing a child in a wheelchair.
“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 photo of Leibowitz went viral on social media, and while he received calls from willing donors with the right blood type, none passed the other requirements.
That is, until Richie Sully picked up the phone.
Sully, who lives in Indiana, saw the post when it was shared by a friend from Houston.
Knowing he had the correct blood type, Sully hopped on a Greyhound bus to get tested.
He spent 14 hours on the bus and stayed in a hostel so he could get tested, and when the results came back, it turned out he was a perfect match.
"I think that I am still in shock, just the fact that it is real," Leibowitz said Monday in a FaceTime interview with Channel 9.
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.
Sully said that part of Leibowitz's story hit home for him.
"As a father, I could relate to having kids, and the last thing I would want my kids to worry about every night when they go to bed is how much more time they have with me," Sully said.
Leibowitz 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.
"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."
Sandoval’s Facebook post was shared 33,000 times within 24 hours.
“I just wanted to do something nice for somebody. Honestly, I was hoping it would get shared 100 times in one day, because I only have like, 260 friends on Facebook,” Sandoval said.
The fact that the post was not only shared thousands of times, but also resulted in Leibowitz finding a match, was amazing, Sandoval said.
"I am over the moon," she said. "This is like my Christmas miracle."
Sully said he was glad he could be there for Leibowitz when he needed it the most.
"Fortunately, I am fairly healthy and I saw this as just another way to help someone," he said. "It just happens to require surgery."
The fact that someone in a different state would see a Facebook post, travel so far and decide to donate a kidney to a complete stranger was more than amazing to Leibowitz.
"It is not like we don't have a cure for kidney disease," he said. "We do. It is humanity. Humanity changed its name to Richie Sully."
The kidney transplant is scheduled for Jan. 18 in New York.
Following the surgery, both families plan to reunite in the place where their story started: the Magic Kingdom.
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.
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.
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.
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 10:58 AM
SANTA FE, Texas — A Texas man is accused of using his riding lawn mower to launch a rock attack in his neighborhood.
Police say on June 9, Johnny Manning, 72, rode his riding lawn mower onto a gravel driveway, where he pelted three people with rocks as they were exiting a vehicle. The man who reported the incident told police he was dropping off his ex-wife and daughter at the home the pair share with Manning when the attack occurred, the Galveston County Daily News reported. The man told police that Manning doesn't like him.
The man's 9-year-old daughter was struck in the face and body by the rocks, the Daily News reported. The rock attack also caused damage to the man's SUV, including broken windows, dents and scratches, according to the Daily News report.
Police said Manning confessed to the attack and told them he'd do it again if he had the chance.
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 7:53 AM
VEGA, Texas — A Texas billboard urging liberals to get out of the state has gone viral, racking up thousands of shares on social media.
According to KFDA, the billboard along Interstate 40 near Vega reads: "Liberals, please continue on I-40 until you have left our GREAT STATE OF TEXAS."
Facebook user Kyle Mccallie of Fritch shared a photo of the sign Tuesday.
"Billboard 6 miles east of Vega on I-40 east bound! I like it," he quipped in his Facebook post, which has been shared more than 12,000 times.
Billboard 6 miles east of Vega on I-40 east bound! I like it!Posted by Kyle Mccallie on Tuesday, June 19, 2018
The billboard's owner was not identified in KFDA's report.
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 8:51 AM
— A new British prince was born on Monday and that means a new line of succession to the British throne.
Move over, Prince Harry, your new nephew -- Louis Arthur Charles - will bump you one step down the line, and shake up everyone who follows you.
The British line of succession was established in the 17th century after James II left the country and the throne in 1688. By 1701, the Act of Settlement established that the country’s Parliament could determine who would rule the country.
The act said that only Protestants could rule – no Roman Catholics could be considered and those in line for the throne could not marry a Catholic. In 2013, the Succession to the Crown Act ended the provision against marrying a Catholic. However, a Roman Catholic may not rule the country.
The law also stated that male heirs, no matter where they fell in the birth order, would displace female heirs in the line of succession. In other words, a younger brother would jump over an older sister in the succession line.
The Succession to the Crown Act amended that portion of the Act of Settlement by ending the practice of moving sons to the front of the line – called male primogeniture. The act applies to those born after Oct. 28, 2011. Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince William, is the first female in the line of succession who will not be skipped over by a younger sibling.
Here is the line of succession as stands after the birth of the new prince:
The line of Succession
1. The Prince of Wales – Prince Charles (Elizabeth’s first child)
2. The Duke of Cambridge – Prince William (Prince Charles’ son)
3. Prince George of Cambridge – William’s son
4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge - William’s daughter
5. Prince Louis of Cambridge – brother to George and Charlotte
6. Prince Henry of Wales – Prince Harry (William’s brother; Charles second child)
8. The Duke of York – Prince Andrew (Elizabeth’s third child)
7. Princess Beatrice of York – Andrew’s daughter
8. Princess Eugenie of York – Andrew’s daughter
9. The Earl of Wessex – Prince Edward (brother of Prince Charles; Elizabeth’s fourth child)
10. James, Viscount Severn – (Prince Edward’s son)
11. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor – (Prince Edward’s daughter)
12. The Princess Royal – Princess Anne (daughter of Queen Elizabeth; her second child)
13. Peter Phillips – son of Princess Anne
14. Savannah Phillips – daughter of Peter Phillips
15. Isla Phillips – daughter of Peter Phillips
16. Zara Tindall – daughter of Princess Anne
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 10:56 AM
— We now know when we’ll get our next official glimpse of Prince Louis.
He will be christened on July 9 at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace, London, the royal family announced Wednesday. It is the same location where Louis’ older brother, Prince George was christened.
Their sister, Princess Charlotte, was baptized at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Norfolk, at the Queen’s Sandringham estate, the BBC reported.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to announce that the christening of Prince Louis will take place on Monday 9th July at The Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 20, 2018
Prince Louis will be christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby. pic.twitter.com/aBGNYTMRri
Prince Louis’ full name is Louis Arthur Charles and his christening will be presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the BBC reported.
There has been no announcement of who the family has chosen for Louis’ godparents, but the list of names is expected to be released the morning of the ceremony.
It is expected that Prince Louis will wear the same christening gown worn by his siblings, which is a copy of the gown worn by Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter. The original was made in 1841 and was used until 2004, the BBC reported.
The water for the baptism comes from the Jordan River, where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the BBC reported.