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Third generation business saved in Tempe after family catches COVID-19

COVID-19 has impacted everyone. But some have been hit particularly hard, suffering physically, mentally and financially. A Tempe family knows the pain well.

PHOENIX — COVID-19 has impacted everyone. But some have been hit particularly hard, suffering physically, mentally and financially. 

Unfortunately, one Tempe family knows this all too well. Anibal Lucas is a cobbler who runs Broadway Shoekeeper in Tempe, a family business dating back some 60 years. 

“The shop, besides my family, is everything that I have," Lucas said. 

Yet, Lucas thought he would be forced to close up shop, for good, because the year of the pandemic was an absolute roller coaster. 

"It's what I want to do to the end of my days." 

Per the government orders, he closed in spring of 2020. He would then come down with a serious infection, requiring multiple surgeries. Not to mention his wife and daughter were in a bad accident. 

To top it all off, all five people living in his household came down with COVID-19. He got the worst of it. 

“It’s not been easy. But we [are] still strong. We wanna keep going.” 

And that is exactly what he and his family plan to do. Thanks in large part to the community donating upwards of $13,000 through GoFundMe set up by Lucas's daughter. Here’s how Lucas reacted when he learned his business was saved. 

“My heart rate came high, because...of emotions. I cried," he said. "And pretty much I was crying all the time. And for me it was nice to see how many people out there care about you when you are in situations like the one we were facing.” 

Lucas, who is is currently in a wheelchair due to COVID-19, also apologized to his customers for not being able to do his work. But that is all changing now as he and his family, who have all recovered, are excited about the future. 

Lucas hopes to reopen the story in May or June. 

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