Jeremy Conner, owner and operator of Who Did That?!?, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based vinyl graphics shop, recently fell ill with diverticulitis, leaving him unable to work, thus no money coming through his shop.
On Monday, Jan. 11, after being in excruciating pain for hours and dealing with nausea as a result, his fiancee rushed him to the ER. Upon a CT scan, Conner learned of the diverticulitis and that his colon had ruptured.
After a second rupture, emergency surgery to remove a portion of his colon, 15 days in the hospital, and little to no diet, Conner is back home, healing, and in good spirits.
The wrap community comes together
As soon as Jason Yost, the owner of Fetch Graphics, learned of Conner’s health problems, he created a GoFundMe for him—a man he’s never met—and rallied the wrap community together to show their support.
With a household income currently at $0, Conner posts to Facebook, “I can’t thank Jason Yost enough for starting this GoFundMe page. We have never met; we’re just both in the wrap game.”
He says he’ll use the funds raised to help pay for “everyday stuff” like food, shelter, water, and dog food.
Yost writes on the GoFundMe page, “I have followed his (Conner’s) hard work and his determination as he started out in his shop … I watched from afar and know the struggles they were going through as I followed their journeys across the world to wrap competitions and shows from my desk at all hours of the night. Jeremy and Amy need our help from our wrap and print community now. This will be a trying time for them both, and recovery will be long and painful. This means that business will not just pick up on its own and keep going, as these two are the backbone.”
For Conner, 2021 marks 30 years in the vinyl industry and 22 years for his business.
“I’ve worked my ass off every day the past 30 years and have never asked for anything back, but it’s time to humble up and admit that I need help,” he says, to what he calls his #WrapFamily, on Facebook. “I just want to thank everyone who has been here with me over the past two weeks with the continued prayers, donations, and well wishes! Y’all really made it easier by letting me know that I wasn’t alone.”
Yost asks the community to help in any way it can as Conner takes on his road to recovery. The fundraising page, which was created on Jan. 18 with a goal of $7,500, has raised over $16,000.
In an industry where wrappers work grueling hours and are hard on their bodies, Conner gives a PSA to the community, shop owners, and operators: Everyone 40 years old and above, get your colonoscopy.
He writes, “This is preventable, and I’m the living model that it can happen to someone under 50 … You do not want to feel this pain!”