Mark is also a family man. A father of five kids and grandfather of 5, he sadly lost his wife and soulmate, Willa Olson Ray, to ovarian cancer earlier this year.
It was always Mark and Willa’s dream to move to the mountains, so shortly before she passed they bought a little house in Big Bear where Willa lived until she died, and where Mark continues to live and commute to LA for work.
It was while biking in Big Bear on Wednesday, November 28, that Mark had an accident that almost ended his life. While biking with new friends, Mark lost control of his bike and flew over the handlebars, causing him to go airborne and soar halfway down the mountain where he finally landed when his head smacked against a boulder. If it weren’t for his helmet, he would have died instantly. Unable to breathe and in shock, Mark lay there while his friends called a Flight for Life. He was flown to Loma Linda Hospital where they told him that he had broken his neck in 3 places (C1, C3 and C4)! The doctor couldn’t believe he wasn’t paralyzed. His angel, Willa, was certainly watching over him.
Mark’s battle isn’t over yet though. He has a long recovery ahead of him. He is on subsidized health insurance, and isn’t sure of how much, if any, of the medical and helicopter fees will be covered. He spent the last 5 years taking care of Willa, and was just starting back up his full DJ schedule for the month of December but has limited mobility and can’t lift more than 4 pounds. He has 11 gigs booked...most of which he had already been paid for. Knowing how much the house would mean to Willa, Mark used that money to pay their property taxes, which leaves him having to hire replacements for many of his gigs, but without the funds to pay anyone.
If anyone has ever met Mark or Willa, they know right away that they are the kindest, most generous people ever...always willing to give you a meal, a roof over your head or their last dollar. We offered to set up this page for Mark because we knew he’d never ask for money himself, but there are so many people, coast to coast, whose lives have been touched by this family. Could we all consider giving back to this family who has always shown us the true meaning of the spirit of giving?
If you wish to send Mark a card please mail to: Mark Ray, 2217 Mahogany Lane,
Big Bear City, CA 92314.
Happy Holidays and many blessings!
The Family of Mark and Willa Ray
- james Fiegener
- Deb Abeel
- Susan Larsen
Organizer and beneficiary
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