It was a busier than usual Saturday at Hill Stop Car and Truck Wash where the proceeds from every wash went to supporting a Vanderhoof family needing a double lung transplant.
A total of $5,220.84 was raised on Sept. 11 for father of two, Mark Schwartz.
Throughout the day, business owners Teri and Wes Neufeld could be spotted assisting customers with their niece Hailey Gull.
A donation jar was also set up.
“We just thought we would help out and do what we could,” Teri said, adding she had gone to school with Schwartz’s wife, Jolene.
“Even more so than that, I think it’s just our community—Vanderhoof. When somebody is in need, we step in.”
Schwartz, 41, was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma in 2012.
The autoimmune disease involving the overproduction of collagen hardens and tightens the skin and connective tissues such as blood vessels and internal organs.
Schwartz had previously worked as a mechanic on log trucks and later as a log truck driver, both of which he was forced to give up.
His lungs have deteriorated due to systemic scleroderma that has also affected his heart valves and left him struggling with arthritis and Raynaud’s disease that causes some areas of his body, such as fingers and toes, to feel numb and cold.
Despite his health, Neufeld said Schwartz, who was carrying oxygen, had stopped by earlier to visit.
“He’s hoping for the best and was in good spirits,” she said.
“It could be any one of us at any time, and I think that’s one of the beauties of a small town—that you jump in and you do what needs to be done.”
E-transfers supporting Schartz and his family can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org