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Rochester comic shop owner unexpectedly falls ill

Craig Cotten, who owns the Book Review comic, gaming and sports card shop in Rochester’s Hillcrest Shopping Center, unexpectedly fell ill last week. Cate Moore, Cotten’s niece, wrote and posted about his situation on social media this week as well as launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover medical bills. She is hoping to raise $30,000.

Craig Cotton
Craig Cotten, who owns the Book Review comic, gaming and sports card shop in Rochester’s Hillcrest Shopping Center at 1618 U.S. 52 North, unexpectedly fell ill last week. Cate Moore, Cotten’s niece, wrote and posted about his situation on social media this week as well as launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover medical bills. She is hoping to raise $30,000.
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ROCHESTER — A longtime figure in the Rochester retail scene is in Mayo Clinic’s intensive care unit after being abruptly felled by a series of medical conditions, which means his one-man store is temporarily closed for business.

Craig Cotten, who owns the Book Review comic, gaming and sports card shop in Rochester’s Hillcrest Shopping Center at 1618 U.S. 52 North, unexpectedly fell ill last week.

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Cate Moore, Cotten’s niece, wrote and posted about his situation on social media this week as well as launching a GoFundMe campaign to help cover medical bills. She is hoping to raise $30,000. As of Wednesday morning, the campaign had collected about $1,300.

“Recently Craig wasn’t feeling like himself and thought he was just undergoing a cold. On Thursday June 23rd, what felt like a cold to Craig turned into something much worse,” she wrote. A friend arrived at the store and called for an ambulance.

Doctors at Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospital told him that his organs were shutting down due to septic shock, his niece wrote.

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“Craig was then diagnosed with kidney stones, pneumonia, and on top of that he was told he had a very aggressive acute leukemia. With having both pneumonia and kidney stones on top of having cancer, he doesn’t have much of an immune system to fight this alone. He was admitted to the ICU and was put on a breathing tube,” wrote Moore.

Being in the hospital means that Cotten’s Book Review store, which he staffed by himself, is closed at the moment.

Cotten, who had long worked at the Book Review, purchased the business in 2008 from Terry Lauth. The store moved to the Hillcrest Shopping Center in 2005 , after two years being located at 115 N. Broadway.

In 2006, Cotten wrote about the experience of running his own business for an article in the Post Bulletin. He estimated that he worked more than 60 hours a week to keep the business going.

When he was asked about the hardest aspects of owning a business, Cotten wrote, “Long hours, low pay and high stress.”

However, he also answered the question of what is best aspect of being self-employed and staffing his own store.

“Being your own boss. You look forward to going to work each day. It's a challenge. It is all on you, if you make it or not,” he wrote.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

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Craig Cotten, who owns the Book Review comic, gaming and sports card shop in Rochester’s Hillcrest Shopping Center at 1618 U.S. 52 North, unexpectedly fell ill last week. Cate Moore, Cotten’s niece, wrote and posted about his situation on social media this week as well as launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover medical bills. She is hoping to raise $30,000.
Post Bulletin file photo
Heard on the Street - Jeff Kiger column sig

Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Jeff at 507-285-7798 or jkiger@postbulletin.com.
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