Customers and friends have donated to a fundraiser for South Portland small business owner Jung Kim, who has been forced to temporarily close her shop while undergoing treatment for cancer. Contributed / Joshua Kim

In her 20 years of ownership, Jung Kim of Jung’s Quality Alterations in South Portland has always gone the extra mile for her customers – whether it’s working extra hours to get a wedding dress ready in time for the big day or making sure a prom dress, suit, or pair of jeans fits just right.

When Kim was diagnosed with stage-3 colon cancer in September and forced to close her Thornton Heights shop while she undergoes treatment, her customers and neighbors decided it was their turn to go the extra mile.

Lynn Landry, a customer for over 15 years, organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help Kim and her family out while the business is closed.

“When I found out she had cancer and learned about the passing of her husband, I felt she deserved to be supported by the communities she has supported for so many years,” Landry told The Forecaster. “This fundraiser is a way to give her the financial support she needs so she can focus on her health and return to her passion of sewing and helping others when able to.”

As of Wednesday, $6,895 has been raised from 118 donors.

“The amount of people who have participated in the fundraiser has been a shock to my mom,” Kim’s son, Joshua, wrote in an email to The Forecaster. “She couldn’t believe that this many people would be willing to leave a donation for her to help with the expenses.”


Between his father’s death and his mother’s cancer diagnosis, Joshua described the past year as “a rollercoaster of emotions” for his family.

“My mom has told me that she is only able to bear this current burden when she thinks of both my sister and I as a reason to keep fighting and pushing on,” he said.

But things are looking up. Kim’s condition has improved after her first round of treatment, Joshua said, and after surgery scheduled for April, she hopes to reopen the shop.

“I feel that since she has seen improvement this has given her hope and she can’t wait to start working again,” Joshua said. “She has always been what some would call a ‘workaholic.'”

A native of South Korea, Jung had to quit school early to work in factories there to make money to support her mother and several siblings, according to the GoFundMe page. Later, she moved to the U.S. with her husband and settled in Maine, where they raised two children and opened the alterations shop.

Her husband died unexpectedly last year and she “has worked tirelessly to support herself and maintain the family business. Jung is an extraordinarily kind and generous person, always putting the needs of others before her own,” the fundraiser says.

While Kim’s prognosis currently is “very favorable,” her son said, she still has a long journey ahead of her – but it seems the community will be in her corner for every step of that journey.

To donate to the fundraiser, visit

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