Gulfport man selling sodas on the side to help sick wife

Larry York
Larry York

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Each case of water, tea, or soda Larry York sells brings him closer to a medical reality. York and two of his friends are trying to raise money to help York's wife, Vanessa.

"She's my soul mate, you know, and we work together and do things together," said York.

But lately, the Yorks haven't been able to do much together. Vanessa is too weak to even join her husband at the Dirt Cheap parking lot on Pass Road in Gulfport. Vanessa had both kidneys removed last year after suffering from a serious kidney disease. She's been on dialysis ever since.

"She get on that machine and come home, she has to rest. She'd be sick all that day," York said.

What Vanessa needs now is a kidney transplant.  The couple didn't have to go far to find the perfect match.

"We had went out and do research for someone to be a donor to her," said York. "We found people, but they weren't the same blood type.  So I took a test and the test myself and I was a match with her."

Larry will donate one of his kidneys to his wife.  The Yorks have medical insurance, but they still need money to cover the cost of medication, lodging for Larry, and transportation back and forth from a hospital in New Orleans.  The couple can't drive.  Larry is blind and Vanessa is legally blind.

"I'm trying to raise as much as we can, $10,000. We really need about $7,000 right now," he said.

Coke will donate some of the proceeds from the sale to the Yorks.

"We're just glad to help out," said Angela Ellison, an employee at Atlantic Aviation in Gulfport.  She came to pick up several cases of sodas for her co-workers.

"Just glad to help them out. We hope everything goes well for them," she said.

"It will help a whole lot. I appreciate it," York told her.

For the next three days, York will sit at the same parking lot selling sodas.  It's a small sacrifice for his wife. After all, he made a vow 23 years ago to be with her in sickness and in health.

"I don't mind doing it," York said. "I'd do anything to help anybody and I'd do anything to help my wife too, and she knows it."

The Yorks hope to have the transplant surgery sometime next month.  A benefit account for the couple has also been set up at Bancorp South.

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