Last week, Crowdfund Insider shared details about a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe that was dedicated to former UFC champion, Mark Coleman. The initiative was started by his longtime training partner and friend, Wes Sims and the funds were to help pay for medical bills that Coleman has been dealing with since his struggles with a mysterious hip infection began.
Sims wrote on the campaign’s website:
“First UFC Heavyweight [Champion], Hall of Famer and ‘The God Father of Ground and Pound’ Mark ‘The Hammer’ Coleman’s retirement from the sport he loved and gave us so many memories has not been very kind to him as of yet. Mark had a hip replacement in 2013, and after surgery was named Wrestling Coach for Team Penn on Season 19 The Ultimate Fighter.
“After filming and returning home his hip popped out several times and pain began on the other side. He has struggled and lived with the pain for well over a year and became sick a couple weeks ago. He was taken to the hospital where a doctor checked him out. He had to stay for four days on antibiotics.
“When released, he went to see the hip doctor again and scheduled to have surgery on March 9th, only to discover while open on operating table, he was full of infection and very close to being septic and lucky to have caught this! He is currently hospitalized with a plastic hip until full surgery can be [performed] in April.
“Mark currently has no income. His insurance is about to expire, but we are currently looking into disability. I am looking to raise funds to help his cost of living, doctor bills, medication, and make up what he will lose in the next few months in appearances he will miss. Anything will help [and] thank you dearly! God Bless!”
After only seven days, the campaign has successfully raised $40,000 out of its $100,000 goal thanks to over 1,100 donors. Now, Coleman is ready details about his medical situation and his reaction to the constant support of his fans.
During a recent interview with USA Today Sports, Coleman discussed his illness:
“I really don’t have the answers, because we really weren’t expecting to even find the infection. I had a hip replacement two years ago, but it went bad on me. It went sour and popped out many times, and it just needed something. Finally, I got back in to see my surgeon… Once he cut me open, that’s all he saw was a big mess in there. It went from changing a couple parts in my hip to him basically cleaning it out. They’re trying to figure out exactly what the infection was… Basically I’m supported to be in the bed. I’m not supposed to get up and do anything, but it’s easier said than done.
“I’m going to have to go back in in two months, and if the infection is gone, they’re going to put in a whole new hip – and then hopefully I can start moving on from there and get back to somewhat a normal life.”
Noting the support he has received offline, Coleman shared:
“The only reason [I’m out of the hospital] is because… I’ve got to get an IV three times a day and [my girlfriend is] taking responsibility and doing it for me. It’s time consuming and she’s a very busy lady. I can’t thank her enough. Otherwise I’d probably be in, I don’t know what you want to call it – an old folks’ home or somewhere getting these treatment. But she’s a blessing and amazing and I’m grateful to her.”
In regards to fans donating to the GoFundMe project, Coleman added:
“The emotions got way too much for me. I really couldn’t get through interviews. I’m trying to pull it together and accept what’s going on and stay positive. Yeah, when I started seeing that it just really overwhelmed me and just – ‘grateful’ is not a good word. Just amazed. In some way, I must have touched these people. I try to be a nice guy and I try to be good to all my fans, and maybe that had something to do with it. I wish somehow I could thank each and everyone one of them personally.
“Obviously, nobody owes me nothin’. For these people to do this? Yeah.”
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