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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Mark Coleman has received a significant outpouring of support from the MMA community this week, with over $30K in donations coming in through a GoFundMe campaign to help him with medical bills.
Coleman says he was overwhelmed by the response this week, as he didn't even know a campaign had been set up by his friend Wes Sims at first. He says it's not easy for him to ask for help, but he can't thank those who have donated to this point enough.
"It's just overwhelming," Coleman said in an interview with Submission Radio. "I've been so emotional throughout this whole thing and I didn't even know nothing about this ‘Go Fund Me'. Wes Sims has been there for me from the beginning and you know I try to give back and help him as well, but I woke up from this surgery, didn't know nothing about it and there's no denying it's a big step. I don't like... I like helping people, you know? It's not so easy for me to get the help, but for Wes Sims to start this Go Fund Me project. I didn't know much about it but all of a sudden, yes to see how many people that, I don't, I could have met them all."
"I wish I would have been able to meet all of these people, and I'm hoping someday maybe I can meet them and try to give back; and I do do a lot of appearances and it really just blows my mind that you could really make somebody's day just by taking a picture with them and being nice to them, and like you said it just blows my mind how many people just started donating. Some people five dollars, some people eight dollars. And these people don't owe me nothing, and I'm not going to deny it, it's going to be needed and it's going to be used, because it's going to be a very costly process here, but for somebody to send me eight dollars which obviously they probably could have used the eight dollars themselves, but they decided to send it to me. You know it's just hard to even comprehend and I'm just really appreciative. I'm just blown away by the whole thing and I just appreciate all these fans and I'd rather call them friends than fans at this point."
Coleman also detailed what he's been dealing with regarding his hip, which was surgically repaired before being aggravated last year.
"After [TUF] was over my hip had popped out six times in the last year and whatever. The surgeon warned me 'I think you might be able to take some pain, but you'll never be able to take this kind of pain' and he was right. So I went from being the toughest guy in the world to having a lot of fear about this hip.
"When they did cut my scar open to replace the parts that I did damage somehow throughout the years, when they went to replace them they cut my hip open and well, they found nothing but a big mess of - I don't know the exact kind of infection it was," he continued. "It might have been staph, we don't know yet. They're trying to get results back, but I was just filled with infections throughout the whole body and it kinda... I was hoping to go in and get my hip fixed and get back on pace and move forward, but now everything's been changed because they put a temporary hip in there 'cause they had to clean out all the staph, and now I'm going to be on an IV bag at home three times a day, trying to get rid of the infections so I can go back in there and get me a new hip, and then I gotta go through the rehab again, and you know it's got me down. I ain't going to deny that."
"But at the same time I'm not complaining because I remember as a youngster I always said I was going to be walking crooked when I'm older, but I just kind of hoped it wouldn't have been this severe."
Penick's Analysis: The goal got reduced to $100K, with Sims acknowledging the shifting nature of the information they're getting on the bills he'll be facing. Whether it covers everything or not, Coleman's obviously grateful for every dollar, and his appreciation is probably more than he could put in words right now. If you want to get in donations yourself, head to GoFundMe.com/SaveTheHammer.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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