A special gift: Wendy Dore donating kidney to her dad, Bay City businessman Art Dore

BAY CITY, MI — There are some things money can’t buy.

And Wendy Dore and her father, prominent Bay City businessman Art Dore, are living proof.
Sometime in early September, Wendy Dore will donate a kidney to her father, 76, who has been suffering from kidney failure for the past two decades, he said.

Though her husband made the news public during the Labadie Pig Gig, the same night she was awarded the key to the city by Mayor Chris Shannon, Wendy Dore, 54, is a bit reluctant to speak of the procedure.

“Any of us in that situation would do the same thing,” she said. “It wasn’t anything I had to give any real thought to.”

Art Dore, who gained national notoriety as the founder of Toughman amateur fighting contests, is owner of several businesses in Bay City, including the Bay City Country Club, BARTS and the Be Cool custom radiator shop in Essexville..

“People portray me as a big tough guy but I’m not so tough, and that really touches me,” Dore said of what his daughter is doing. “It’s a tremendous gift.”

Dore said he has been suffering from kidney failure for the past 20 years, and his kidneys now are functioning at about 9 percent.

“It’s still enough to keep me going,” Dore said, adding he has not been receiving dialysis treatments. “I just have to hang in there for another few weeks.”

PGA father of eight children, Dore said his eldest, Wendy, was the first to be tested to see if she’d be an eligible donor.

“She was the first one in and she was a match,” Dore said. “It was wonderful.”
Dr. Claudia Zacharek, a Saginaw Township-based nephrologist who specializes in kidney disease and prevention, said kidney transplants are most successful when the donor is a living relative.

“It’s always the best scenario because it is a good, healthy kidney that would probably have some similarities,” Zacharek said.

Still, the surgery is a major one, Zacharek said, and is not that common. In fact, the procedure is not even done in this area, she said, and estimates that large hospitals in big cities do only about 100 kidney transplants per year.

“It is a risky procedure, but the benefits outweigh the risks,”  Zacharek said.

Donors typically remain in the hospital a few days, while recipients recover for about a week.

“Who among us wouldn’t do the same thing for their father?” Wendy Dore asked.

Zacharek said she is always touched when she sees a living, related donor of a kidney.

“I commend her,” she said. “I think it’s very honorable what she is doing.”

In 2011, at the age of 75, Dore suffered a heart attack, and doctors discovered he had a 100 percent blockage on the bottom of the right side of his heart.

Dore will need cardiac clearance before undergoing the kidney transplant, Zacharek said.
Despite his health problems, Dore can often be seen around town, whether it be at community events or one of his many businesses. His daughter often is working at charity golf outings and other events put together by their company, DoreAble Promotions.

Last year, Art Dore had a week dedicated to him, and all he’s done for the city.
He said he doesn’t plan to let a kidney transplant slow him down much, either.

“It’s just another bump in the road,” Dore said. “It will take a while to recuperate, but I’ll be ready to give ’em hell again.”


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