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Williams Lake wife works to find living donor for husband

Wendy Bate is hoping to find a viable kidney for her husband, who needs a transplant
Wendy and Larry Bate are hoping to find a living donor for Larry, whose kidneys are failing. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Wendy Bate is searching for someone willing to give the “gift of life” for her husband of 43 years.

Wendy met her husband Larry Bate at a single parents group they both attended in Kamloops.

Within a month they announced they were getting married.

“At the meeting they all kind of fell off their chairs,” she recalled, of when they told their fellow group members their plan to marry.

They each already had one child. The couple ended up with four children, after having two more sons together. They moved to Williams Lake around 1989.

At 60, Larry was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was put on some medication. After a couple of years, his kidney function went from 60 per cent, which was normal for his age, down to 50 per cent.

After going to see a specialist, Larry had his kidney’s biopsied, but nothing was found.

Six months later, his kidney function dropped to 40 per cent. Another biopsy still did not reveal any new information.

Now, Larry, at 77 years old, fluctuates between nine and 11 per cent kidney function. He has low energy and can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, but he is unable to sleep through the night.

Despite maintaining a limited diet, drinking plenty of water and reducing his protein intake, he has had no improvement over the course of the decline in function.

Over the course of a night, Larry has to get up to go to the washroom about seven times.

The low kidney function also impacts his memory, and he has muscle soreness in his arms and legs.

Wendy said he has lost weight and muscle.

Health care workers have prepared him for dialysis, and once his kidney function drops down any lower, he will require the life-saving treatment. Patients on dialysis usually go three times a week for three to four hours each time for treatment.

“I really don’t want to go through that, but whatever happens, happens,” said Larry.

Once he goes on dialysis, he would become eligible for a deceased donor kidney, however the wait list is so long it would likely be many years before one became available. Someone Wendy knows has waited eight years for a donor.

Wendy doesn’t want to wait.

Instead, she is hoping for someone willing to become a living donor so Larry can continue to have some quality of life.

So she has been sharing the story with people on social media as they try to get the word out.

Wendy herself had gone through the tests in order to find out if she was a suitable living donor for Larry, but she has one large kidney and one small one, and the small one would not be enough for either of them.

Their children are also not able to donate, unfortunately.

She said the tests are not hard and people don’t necessarily need to have the right blood type, but people need to get tested to know if they would be able to donate.

“I just hope that there’d be somebody out there,” she said.

“I am a humble man, and it is difficult for me to ask for help, but I am,” wrote Larry in a letter detailing his search for a donor.

“I have faith, and I believe in the goodness of people. Especially in this community that I have lived, worked and raised my family in,” he said.

“God willing, there is someone out there willing to give this tremendous gift of life. I know it’s a big ask.”

April is organ donation awareness month. For those interested in looking into becoming a living donor, people can go to or call Wendy herself at 250-392-4482.

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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