By: Isaiah S. Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host
CEDARVILLE, N.J. — Self-made millionaire Allen Weinstein once said, “Life is full of unexpected challenges, but we must always keep in mind that every challenge we face only makes us stronger.” Galileo Wang is 22 years old and on his way to graduating from college and his unexpected challenge was in early February of this year, his house caught fire.
Wang lives with his grandmother in a house that’s been in their family in Cedarville since he was a boy; now what once was his childhood home has morphed into a place where he nearly lost his life.
“I woke up at 6 a.m. that Sunday morning, and I smelled smoke, but I didn’t think much of it,” said Wang. “I went back to sleep and woke at 7 and this time the smoke got even heavier, and I opened my door. and I was hit in the face first with a bunch of black smoke.”
Wang screamed for his grandmother and managed to get them both out of the house through a window and down a ladder he left up on the side of the house from a roofing job he did the previous summer.
The fire started because a family friend installed a pellet stove incorrectly and though the malfunctioning of the pellet stove caused the fire, Wang and his family do not condemn the person who installed it because they’re thankful they’re still okay.
The fire forced the family to relocate with a friend, but Wang’s plan is to get an engineering job and get a mortgage on a house. Neighbors of Wang started a GoFundMe with a goal of $25,000, and with $21,000 raised so far, the idea of getting a mortgage on a home is growing even closer to being real.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who donated to my cause,” Wang said. “It really brings tears to my eyes that so many people, those I know and those that I don’t, all came together to help us in this situation.”
Wang says he’s learned to plan ahead from this experience, purchasing homeowner’s insurance on his next home is the first step. The last step is to keep moving forward and not allowing this challenge to derail him from his goals which is graduating from college and securing a job along with a new home for his grandmother.
To help support Wang and his family go to their GoFundMe page by clicking here.
Wang’s continued determination along with the support of a community that is stepping up to support him is What’s Good in South Jersey.
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