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Man with kidney failure fighting to keep decade-long hot dog business alive

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 5:30 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Ron Simons has owned his hot dog business, Ron’s River Dogs, for over a decade.

“I never didn’t ever think it would turn out this much fun but I love it,” Simons says.

And before the pandemic, Simons says business was booming.

“Business was really good before the pandemic,” Simons says.

But after the pandemic, business has been a bust.

“That all died. It was gone. It was done,” Simons says.

And just when Simons thought it could not get any worse, it did.

“I had a throat problem, haven’t been able to eat and it got to the point where I really couldn’t drink anything and I had a physical on the 31st, everything was fine. On the 11th, I’m in the hospital with kidney failure,” Simons explains.

In early August, Simons was put on dialysis and was forced to close up shop, but instead of watching his hot dog business die, some loyal customers had a different idea in mind.

“One of my customers, I don’t even know who it was. It was anonymous, they set up a GoFundMe page on Facebook and I’m still blown away by that,” Simons says.

It is a GoFundMe page with a $20,000 goal to help Simons, and his dogged personality, pay his medical expenses and get his business back up and running.

Despite all the odds and all signs to hang it up, Simons says he is not giving up just yet.

“I don’t quit. I never quit. That’s not in my vocabulary. I don’t even think about it quite frankly. I got too many loyal customers and I really love what I do,” Simons says.

Simons says he hopes by continuing his dialysis, and following what doctors’ orders, that he will be off dialysis in three-four months. However, he does expect to reopen Ron’s River Dogs on Tuesday, September 1st if everything goes as planned.

If you want to help get Ron’s River Dogs back on the street, you can donate by clicking here.

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