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Beloved soccer coach ‘fighting for his life’ after accident

An Orillia man who has dedicated his life to community and family is facing tragedy.

Adolfo Martinez, a popular local soccer coach and member of Guardian Angels Church in Orillia, was walking when he was struck by a speeding vehicle on March 28 in his hometown of Puebla, Mexico.

He suffered brain swelling, damage to his left frontal lobe, and severe skull fractures. He is now left to “fight for his life in hospital.”

Siblings Rojelio Martinez Palacios and Regina Martinez Palacios have started a campaign to help cover escalating medical bills for their father.

“When we first heard that this happened, we were shocked,” Regina said. “We were really scared.”

Adolfo is the father of seven children and spouse to Begoña; Rojelio says he’s the backbone of the family.

“He’s been the best dad,” they said. “He’s worked so hard to support and provide for all of us. He’s always there to support us emotionally or to give a good laugh.”

Regina says her dad always lived by the mantra of being kind to others.

“Us kids always had a lot of friends coming and going,” she said. “He was always very welcoming and gave anyone who needed it a place to stay. He was there to support anyone he could.”

So far, the GoFundMe has raised over $41,000 for Adolfo, who was also an avid squash player until the YMCA in Orillia was shut down. To see the community giving back to their father is “incredible,” Rojelio says.

“I can’t even put into words how grateful I am for everybody coming through like this,” they said. “It really means a lot to our whole family.”

Regina says the support is “overwhelming.”

“To have the support from the community has been amazing,” she said. “I get emotional even thinking about how much the community has rallied around us.”

Rojelio says the support for Adolfo proves that he is “well-loved” in Orillia.

“He’s touched so many lives,” they said.

Regina says the goal of the GoFundMe is to raise $55,000.

“Being at the hospital every day is definitely not cheap,” she said. “Any additional funds after paying for his surgery we will use to cover the hospital costs, medications, and any other procedures that may arise. There is still a lot right now that is unknown.”

In the accident, Adolfo suffered significant hearing loss in both ears.

“He’s going to need some medications, therapy, and things like that,” Regina said. “Any money we can fundraise will be going toward that.”

While Adolfo is still in a ‘fragile’ state, Regina believes her father is going to survive his wounds.

“Our dad is so strong,” she said. “He’s a big fighter which gives us a lot of confidence.”

Both Regina and Rojelio thank the community and everybody supporting their family during this “difficult” time.

“Anyone who has donated, shared the story or provided us with loving words, we really appreciate the support,” Regina said.

“We are so grateful to everybody; this is huge for our family at a time when my dad really needs it,” Rojelio added.

The Martinez family extends a special, heart-felt thank you to Cody and Shania Burnett who donated $20,000.