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Brewers fan who found kidney donor through viral post recovers from transplant

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A local Brewers fan has a lot to be thankful for after finally receiving a long-awaited kidney transplant.

During the season, Lenny Zweig of Burlington, wore a t-shirt to a game with a special message on it. Thanks to social media, he found a kidney donor.

The father of three never imagined attending a Brewers game would lead to the kidney he so desperately needed. He now has a new kidney and is back home from the hospital.

“How do you say thank you a million times, without it getting old."

For the last 10 years, it was normal for Zweig to not feel good. The 43-year-old suffered from IgA Nueropathy, a disease that ruined his kidney function, after contracting Dengue Fever from a mosquito in Africa, years ago.

Things are different now. “No more nausea, no more getting sick in the mornings, no more dialysis."

Zweig not only feels like a new man, he looks like it after cutting his long bushy beard, ending his more than two year pact to not get rid of it until he got a new kidney.

The surgery at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center revived him.

“He was hooked up to a million things, doctors were making sure everything was okay, and everyone was looking at me with a smiling face, knowing that it had gone well,” said Becky Roberts, Lenny’s wife.

However, the search for a donor was a long one, but he never lost hope -- not even while attending a Brewers game early in the year.


"Both my son and I were wearing our kidney shirts with information on the back," he said. "A young gal took a picture of it and posted it on Instagram and the next day posted it on Facebook and it just blew up."

He hoped someone out there would "share their spare" kidney. The woman wasn't a match, but entered them into the  National Kidney RegistryThe database pairs people with others in need of a transplant. 

Zweig tells CBS 58 the donor is a 50-year-old man from Pittsburgh. They hope to meet in the future.

Eventually, the Brewers organization found out about Zweig and sent him a care package filled with team gear. They also invited him to throw out the first pitch at a game next season.

"I felt like a kid at Christmas 10 times over."


Zweig has to recover for a couple of months, and take anti-rejection medication before he's back in the full swing of things. The family plans to help others on their transplant journey.

For more on Zweig, visit: https://bit.ly/2QUiG3F

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