Campus, town joins in assisting alumnus

The road to recovery for Gabiel Marquez, the alumnus who was in a car accident during spring break, may prove to be long and without medical insurance the costs are piling up on his family. But Marquez’s roommate and friend Criston Smith said he believes Marquez will not stop fighting for his life because he is not someone who gives up.

“I’m not sure he knows where he is right now,” Smith said, “but I know he is a fighter and he will make it through.”

Smith said he has visited Marquez nearly every day since the accident. Marquez is in serious condition and has transported to Minerva Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Columbus. Since the accident Marquez has developed some circulatory problems and a lung infection, but although still in critical condition he is semi-conscious.

Marquez is not the only one fighting though. People in organizations and individuals on campus are also fighting for Marquez’s life by raising money for his family to pay medical bills. Marquez does not have medical insurance.

Sheila Brown, assistant director of the Center of Multicultural and Academic Initiatives, said the support at the University for Marquez has been seen throughout the campus.

“I am truly awed by the tremendous outpouring of love for Gabiel by the campus community,” Brown said.

One student, junior Abbey Studor, felt compelled to help Marquez and his family, so she organized a benefit concert and the proceeds were given to Marquez’s family to help with health expenses.

“Gabiel was a very good friend to many of us not only in the College of Musical Arts but throughout the campus as well,” Studor said. “He has given so much to our University and in general, to people. I felt it was necessary to try to give back what he gave so many of us, the gift of song, and in the process raise some money.”

Overall, Studor said she was happy with the concert that was held last weekend. She said about $600 was raised by the audience.

“The spirit between the chorus members and the generosity of the audience members was great,” Studor said. “It just makes me feel good to know that students and faculty members are generous enough to perform a concert in their spare time to help out a friend.”

The money raised by the benefit concert has not been the only fund-raiser for Marquez. Sky Bar collected $580 for Marquez, who a former bartender at the establishment.

Brown also organized a spaghetti luncheon that raised $3,200 for Marquez’s bills.

“While funds raised from these benefits are great, Gabiel’s medical bills are pilling up,” Brown said. “His father informed me that the Mediflight bill alone was $5,200 and that the other bills are coming in.”

Brown said that she is organizing one more fund-raiser for Marquez in May.

“We are hopeful that by this date Gabiel might be well enough to attend this event, but if not, his family will be in attendance to celebrate with us,” Brown said.

The event, A Tribute to Gabiel, will include a silent auction, a Puerto Rican dinner buffet, live entertainment and video footage of some of Marquez’s performances on campus, Brown said. She hopes to have 500 people in attendance.

“In any case, Gabiel will require extensive rehabilitation which could take upwards a year or more,” Brown said. “During this period he will need financial assistance since he will be unable to earn a living. This is why I decided to plan one more event.”

A Tribute for Gabiel

What: Fund-raiser to benefit Gabiel Marquez

When: Saturday May 3, 2003 6 p.m. to midnight

Where: Anderson Arena

Costs: $25 per person or $40 per couple

Includes: Silent auction, Puerto Rican dinner buffet, live entertainment, video footage of Marquez in his performances on campus

For more information contact Sheila Brown at the Center of Multicultural and Academic Initiatives.