San Diego County Fair vendors rally to support sick shop owner

A vendor at the SD County Fair was rushed to the ICU because of kidney failure. His shop has been left abandoned as he remains in the hospital hoping for a donor.

DEL MAR, Calif. — If you happen to pass by a booth that’s filled with cashmere merchandise, at the San Diego County Fair, but notice no vendor in sight, that’s because the owner of Cashmere Shop is 40-year-old Tariq Wani.

Two weeks ago, he began to experience excruciating pain in his abdominal area. The pain became so intense that Wani ended up in the ICU where doctors announced his kidneys are no longer working. 

The news shocked Wani and other vendors who worked with him, like Arif Haroon, who has a shop near his booth. 

“It’s unfortunate, you know. He was a very active man and,” said Haroon, who could not contain his tears.

Haroon said Wani isn’t from the United States he is from India, after obtaining his visa he made the decision to travel to California for the first time in June.

He was planning to return to India for his family, once he finished selling his products at the fair. However, that’s when things took a turn and it all changed once he got sick.

“As an immigrant myself, coming to a country without anything, it’s just sad,” said Natalia Valdiva, who owns a Peruvian shop across from his booth.  

Wani’s booth has been piling up with bags of unsold merchandise, which is why many vendors have volunteered to help keep his business afloat. 

“He has no family here, he is all by himself. Which is why we are trying to help in the best way we can,” said Hortencia Anaya, a business owner who has a toy shop that’s also near Wani’s booth.

Vendors told CBS 8 that while visiting Wani in the hospital, he continues to express how much he misses his family and wants to see them.

CBS 8 reached out to the Consulate General of India in California to see if they can help expedite visas for his family so they can travel to the U.S. and see Wani, but as of right now their case is still being reviewed. 

If you are interested in the GoFundMe account, click here.

WATCH RELATED: Everyone is a winner when they donate unwanted prizes at San Diego County Fair (July 2022).