In memory of David Benavidez

                                                                David Benavidez Memorial

                                                             May 25, 1995  -  October 9, 2018


 On Sunday, October 7, 2018, 23 year old David Benavidez, an avid soccer player, community volunteer, and research scientist, sought emergency care for flu-like symptoms.  His blood analysis showed several infections and also the signs of a highly aggressive type of leukemia, acute promyelocytic leukemia, which had taken over his immune system and was preventing him from fighting infection. Shockingly, he rapidly deteriorated, requiring treatment in the intensive care unit.  A short 48 hours later, on Tuesday, October 9, despite his heroic attempts to fight the infection, he tragically passed away.  

We offer this page to aid his loving family who is devastated by this sudden and heart-breaking course of events. He was dearly loved by his family and friends, especially his beloved wife, Cecilia, his dear parents, Franklin, and Fanny, brother Gustavo, and sister, Daniela.  The money raised will be used to support his family for the funeral services.  Should the fund surpass these costs, it will be used as a scholarship fund for his wife.

David Benavidez was an athlete, scholar, and humanitarian.  At Elmwood Park High School, he was a long-jumper on the varsity track and field team and was the running back for the football team.  To his opponents, he was known to be a fierce competitor; to his teammates he was known as a selfless, dedicated team player, always willing to go the extra mile. After graduating from high school, he continued as an assistant coach, volunteering his time at the high school for both teams and playing league soccer.  Entering the University of Illinois as a neuroscience major, he had an enormous passion for medicine and community health.  He championed the cause of affordable medical care for all and volunteered his free time as a Spanish translator to the community health clinics around the city of Chicago. As an undergraduate, he was recognized for his talent in science and joined the Transplant Biology Research Laboratory in the Department of Surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago. His dedication to excellence and his extreme work ethic led to co-authorship in published scientific reports and, later, led to his joining the laboratory as a research scientist. During the two years after college graduation, he contributed to  many scientific abstracts and presentations. He continued his community work, providing translation services in the health clinics, as well as coaching high school sports. He was beloved by all and was known to be a quiet, gentle leader, always ready with a quick smile of encouragement or a thoughtful action of kindness.  He was asked to provide mentorship to undergraduates in the Hispanic Center for Excellence at the University of Illinois, and was in the process of applying to medical schools.  David was a young man of tremendous potential and leaves behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.      

No words will ever be enough to describe the light, love, and joy David brought into the lives of so many around him.  We thank God for the time we have had with our beloved David. David was a man of character, integrity, generosity, and most precious of all, love.  David's gift of love is what we thank God for most of all.  His loving presence will be deeply missed.

Funeral Arrangements: 
Sunday October 14, 2018 
Viewing Times 3:00PM-9:00PM
The Elms Funeral Home 
7600 W Grand Ave 
Elmwood Park 60707 

Thank you for your generosity, love, and support.

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Fundraising team (4)

Andre Fulgencio Diaz 
Chicago, IL
Cecilia Benavidez 
Juan Pablo M 
Team member
Michelle Yanez 
Team member
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