OCEAN CITY – Community members are rallying around a long-time Dumser’s employee as she undergoes treatment for end-stage kidney disease.
Late last week, organizer Kathy Grimes launched a Go Fund Me page on behalf of Iris Jarmon, a long-time Dumser’s employee facing mounting medical bills as she awaits a kidney transplant.
“Iris has been with the 49th Street Dumser’s for 30 years,” Grimes said. “She’s seen babies come in, babies grow up, babies get married and babies have their own babies. Everyone that comes into Dumser’s is part of her family. She’s well-known not only to the people of the Ocean City area, but to the visitors that come back and go in to see her.”
A few years ago, Jarmon was diagnosed with kidney failure. However, she said her health started to decline last September.
“I wasn’t able to work as much,” she explained. “The owner is a very understanding family man, along with the (general manager), who has worked around all the doctors’ visits.”
Earlier this year, Jarmon was hospitalized twice. She’s now receiving dialysis for end-stage renal disease.
“My effort is to return to a fully functioning life while waiting for a transplant and going back to work full time,” she said.
Grimes said she wanted to do something to help her friend. With Jarmon’s permission, she launched a Go Fund Me page to help cover her medical expenses.
“She has been in and out of the hospital, but her demeanor is so upbeat …,” Grimes said. “She’s helped so many people throughout the years, and it was something I felt we needed to do, to reach out, put our arms around her and say now it’s our time to support you.”
Within 24 hours, Grimes said, more than $7,000 had been raised through the fundraising website. And as of Tuesday, community members had donated more than $9,600 toward Jarmon’s medical expenses.
“There has absolutely been an outpouring of support, and as soon as this Go Fund Me went up people responded right away …,” she said. “We have people as far as Bulgaria who have reached out, who have worked with her.”
Grimes said those who cannot give financially can also support Jarmon by sending letters of encouragement. Cards can be mailed to 207 Bayview Lane, Unit 301, Ocean City, Md. 21842, in the care of Kathy Grimes.
“All I want to do is help her and her family,” Grimes said. “I think our prime purpose in life is to help others. Now is a time for us to help someone who has helped all of us in the community.”
For her part, Jarmon thanked her employer and community members for their support.
“I’m blessed to have family, friends, a church and a community that has given back time after time,” she said. “But I cannot do it without help from supporters like you.”