NJ community rallies to support beloved mechanic in need

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Sunday, September 19, 2021
NJ community rallies to support beloved mechanic in need
The West Deptford community has raised more than $50,000 in just one week to support a local mechanic whose wife is battling brain cancer.

WEST DEPTFORD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- "I didn't think I had that much impact on the community," said Michael Coleman. "But I must have done something, because what they're doing for me, I just, I can't express my opinion, how much I just love this community."

Coleman has been the handyman at Westwood Service Lukoil for nearly 30 years. He earned a reputation for working overtime to keep the wheels turning in his West Deptford community.

"Whether we're running on E or, we had to go get an oil change, it was always so convenient to just run off to Mike at the gas station," said Brittney Jowett.

But Coleman has been forced to hit the brakes on his business since his wife, Cindy, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer. In fact, the 30th of September will be his last day on the property.

When learning of the sad news, Jowett quickly acted to create a GoFundMe page to support the outstanding costs associated with closing the business.

Coleman couldn't be more grateful.

"I could not sell my business, for a whole year I've been trying," he said. "I had a little loan on the property that I'm trying to pay off, and what they're doing, I can walk away and take care of Cindy."

In just nine days, the fundraiser topped $50,000. Support came from all corners of the community.

"I feel like, in today's world, the kindness and outpour of love was just amazing," said Jowett.

Her children were enthralled by the rising numbers and wanted to contribute in their own special way. That's why they organized a lemonade stand to sell drinks and cookies to help Coleman.

"He's very kind and caring, and he likes to help others," said Sophie Jowett.

Shocked by the support, Coleman feels like the series of events was orchestrated by a higher power. He is looking forward to supporting his wife at all hours, especially considering she did the same when Coleman was battling prostate cancer.

"I've been blessed, because I have another day with her, and what they're doing for me, they're giving me another day," he said. "I wouldn't change any moment."

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