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Friends rally to help beloved friend in coma

August 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Neighbors and friends of a 29-year-old man are asking for public support to raise money for his mounting medical bills.

Two weeks ago, Marco Lira took a fall at his Toluca Lake apartment. He suffered severe brain trauma and has been in a medically induced coma ever since.

Lira, a Simi Valley native, often paid it forward, donating proceeds from his musical performances or art work to charity. Now his friends are hoping the community returns the favor.

"He was in one of those stages where he didn't have any medical insurance," said Lira's friend, Shila Moran. "He's in his late 20s where you don't think anything is going to happen. Now he's going to have six figures or more in debt."

Lira's friends set up a fund for him at www.indiegogo.com/getwellmarcolira that features a video about him. They hoped to raise $20,000 by his birthday in October. They did that in two days. They're now at a little more than $31,000.

"Every friend or friend of friend has given. We've kind of hit a plateau," Moran said. "What we're hoping to do now is share his story and let people know about the predicament he's in."

They've set up a Tumblr page, encouraged reality stars to tweet his story and set up several Facebook pages, including one promoting a fundraiser at the Arena Sports Grill in Simi Valley on Friday.

His friends are doing all this work for one reason:

"He would have helped me out in whatever way he could," said Lira's friend Velia Lopez, "I'm going to do whatever I can to help him out."

If you'd like to donate to Lira's fund, visit www.indiegogo.com/getwellmarcolira.