TIFTON, GA (WALB) - Shop owners in downtown Tifton are joining together to help a store owner in need.
Kathy Allen owns Southern Pickers and was recently diagnosed with necrotizing pancreatitis.
Now Main Street is stepping in to help her and her family through this tough time.
"I'm just in shock. This hit her so fast and took her down so quickly," said Marianne Dow, a friend of Allen's.
Dow works for Allen at Southern Pickers, but ever since Allen's diagnosis, the store doesn't feel the same without her.
"She's just a very friendly person and I'm trying to do as much as I can for her while she's in the hospital," explained Dow.
Necrotizing pancreatitis is a condition that often develops from acute pancreatitis. In some cases, the pancreas can become inflamed, causing surrounding tissue to die.
"Every day, I've been calling to find out how she's doing," said Dow.
In addition to those calls, Dow and other store owners downtown are partnering to organize an auction. The funds raised will go to Allen to help with medical costs.
"I was surprised by the amount of people who have really just jumped in and the chatter that's going around in Tifton and other places too," explained Ron Kirby, owner of Imagine That Gallery.
Twisted Sisters and Imagine That Gallery are just a couple of the shops involved, putting pink tabs on items up for auction. Now they're asking for items to be donated for the auction.
"It's all for Kathy and we're just trying to get her straightened out," said Kirby. "She's a great person and she has a big heart."
A heart that has touched so many people in downtown Tifton.
"We got your back, Kathy," said Dow. "We're here for you."
The auction will be held July 12 at the Elk's Lodge at 6:30 p.m.
For details on how to donate, visit Southern Pickers' Facebook page here or call Southern Pickers at (229) 472-1045.