Wisconsin man credits viral photo for helping find kidney donor

Posted at 9:00 PM, Oct 07, 2018

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — A viral picture at an early season Brewers game likely saved 44-year-old Lenny Zwieg's life. After being waitlisted for years, Zwieg is now on deck for a kidney transplant. 

“It’s been a difficult uphill battle," Lenny Zwieg said.

Zwieg recounts never wanting to wear his “father of three needs a kidney” shirt to a Brewers game back in April, but his wife, Becky, convinced him to do it and he’s glad he did. 

“It just created a tidal wave of good fortune,” Zwieg said. 

That wave of good fortune started rolling in when someone took a picture of Zwieg in the shirt and shared it. 

"It went viral within weeks we went from getting one or two hits a week on our Facebook page to thousands,” Zwieg said. 

Eventually leading to a donor. After two years of dialysis and about four years on the waiting list, Zwieg got the news just a couple of days ago and his transplant date is set for November 2nd. 

“[When I got the call], I cried like a baby,” Zwieg said. 

Zwieg’s battle started in 2004 after a business trip to Africa. He contracted Dengue fever and has had health complications ever since —but with a new kidney comes new hope and Zwieg said hopefully the kind of winning streak the Brewers can’t seem to shake. 

“I think that this is their year, it’s shaping up to be my year also so it almost feels like it was meant to be,” Zwieg said. 

Come November Zwieg said he hopes he and the Brewers are both celebrating, and he wants his story to encourage others to answer the call and become donors. 

If you want more information on Zwieg's story or how you can become a donor you can check his Facebook page here.