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Former Dawson Creek resident humbled by Tumbler Ridge man's kidney donation promise

"I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart.”

Talk about an offer of a lifetime.

Lynette Schile was selling Tumbler Ridge resident Terry Willbern a pair of couches in a Dawson Creek store when Willbern joked about not having much time left.

The pair struck a chord when talking about extended warranty work Willbern noted he wouldn't need a warranty on much - because he didn't expect to live long with an ALS diagnosis. Willbern offered to donate both his kidneys to Lynette's husband Patrick – who had been a failing kidney patient for more than half a decade.

"We (Lynette and I) were going back and forth wondering if it was just something he said, of if he was serious. Then we went back and forth on whether to call him or not," says Patrick. The couple now live in Southern Alberta.

"We stood on it for about a month before we reached out."

Of course the offer was the genuine article.

"One now, one later when I don't need it," said Willbern at the time.

“Terry and I have not been tested yet which we are going to be tested to see if we are a match this month,” says Schile. “If he happens not to be a match, his kidneys will go to someone else so I can get a match right away.Kidneys only last for so longer - but Terry is saving three people - me, as well where his two kidneys go." 

Willbern lives in Tumbler Ridge. “It was so out of the blue. it is important to have a record and memory of this story and what he has done,” says Schile.

“You hear all kinds of things growing up - but if there is one things to get out there - be an organ donor. Especially when it comes to the cases of untimely deaths - they are organs others can use to live.” 

After a pause Schile knows he has no words for Willbern’s generosity “I would like to say he has touched my family’s life by saving me – and two other people. I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart.”

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