Marked By COVID - Mark Urquiza Memorial Fund

To contribute to Marked By COVID, please visit us at

My father was robbed of a life. My family was robbed of his love. We should not have to endure this tragedy, but we are because of the failed leadership of Governor Ducey, President Trump, and so many others. The number of cases continue to climb across the country, and like AZ, other states are approaching a crisis point. There have been over 160,000 coronavirus deaths  in the U.S. and we know that Black and Latino people have been nearly twice as likely to die from the virus as white people, the data shows. Our job is not done.

This fundraiser raised over $50,000 for:
- $20,000 to support Kristin in paying for Mark's funeral and to provide a stipend to Kristin's mother, Brenda, to support essential living costs as she recovers from the coronavirus.
- $30,000* to launch Marked By COVID, an organization working to elevate the truth about the coronavirus as the pandemic rages on. Founded by Mark’s daughter Kristin Urquiza -- with help from friends and family -- to hold officials accountable and ensure that policies change so that more lives are saved. Read more below and learn about how to take action on our website.

* Campaign funds will be withdrawn by Kristin Urquiza and transferred to a separate Marked By COVID organizational account. Marked By COVID will be incorporated in CA. 


May 5: President Trump visited Arizona after weeks of isolation and stated “Our country has to open” as he boarded Air Force One and reinforced at his tour of the Honeywell plant.
May 15: Ducey allowed his stay-at-home order to expire.
May 28: Ducey encouraged people without underlying conditions to go shopping and to restaurants.
Early June: Kristin tried to convince Mark to continue to shelter-in-place; Mark responded that “the governor says it’s safe, so it must be safe.”
June 11: Mark became ill with a high fever and cough (appx. three weeks after the order expired)
June 21: Arizona hits 50,000 cases; numbers more than doubling every two-three weeks.
June 24: Governor Ducey allowed President Trump to hold a mask-free rally in Arizona.
June 26: Mark was moved to ICU. The unit was already so crowded that patients were doubled-up in rooms (highly unusual) and updates from health care professionals took up to 13 hours.
June 30: Mark passed away while an ICU nurse held his hand; family was not allowed to attend.
July 8: Kristin was inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt & ACT UP, to found Marked By COVID and highlight the true cost of the U.S. response: lives unnecessarily lost. 
July 9: Mark is laid to rest and Kristin wrote the first #HonestObit, invited the governor to the funeral, and held a vigil at the state capitol to honor Mark and inspire safer policies. 
July 11-27: Kristin's story and is featured in countless news outlets, including the New York Times and the Washington Post
July 28: Kristin is featured on ABC's 20/20 coronavirus special, which clearly demonstrates that this crisis was preventable.
August 13th: Marked By COVID's first Day of Action on what would have been Mark's 66th birthday. We are organizing vigils & ofrendas across the U.S. to honor the lives lost to coronavirus and challenge our leaders to do better. 


It is with extreme sadness that I share the passing of my father, Mark Anthony Urquiza.
 He passed away after more than three weeks battling with COVID-19. On behalf of our family, I am asking for support for two reason

- To ensure Mark is laid to rest with love and that our family can work through this tragedy together. We are raising funds to cover the costs of the burial and memorial service and to continue to support my mother, Brenda’s basic needs as she continues her fight against COVID-19. We were unprepared for these expenses. 

- To continue Mark’s legacy of rebellion against the status quo by amplifying our story, as well as the stories of the tens of thousands of others like us, in hopes of driving a culture change around coronavirus prevention and saving lives in Mark and Brenda’s community and beyond.

We aim to reach our minimum goal of $20,000 by Friday, July 17th, as these expenses are happening in real-time. 

Mark was a former 400-meter dash state champion and cross-country runner without underlying conditions known to be risk factors for COVID-19 patients. Despite this athleticism, his body was still not able to handle the marathon that is the coronavirus. But the mental drive and focus needed for this type of athleticism surely contributed to his infectious energy, strong will, and yes, even stubbornness. He passed this same drive on to me and to our extended family, as you see by our commitment to continuing this fight for others, even in our darkest moments. Mark, who was often called “Black Jack” by his friends and family, was a lover of nature, the night sky, and politics, and was often the life of the party.

He is remembered by his only child Kristin Danielle Urquiza; his wife Brenda Urquiza; siblings Frank C. Urquiza, Venancio C. Urquiza, Richard C. Urquiza, Diana U. Camacho, Gina Urquiza Waters; and siblings-in-law Carol Urquiza, Chris Waters, Yvonne Urquiza, and Ray Camacho. Along with his nieces and nephews, the broader community of Tolleson, Arizona, and countless friends. 

Brenda was able to be with him in the hospital on his final day; she was the only visitor allowed due to COVID concerns. All other interactions, including my last words to my father, were relayed via speakerphone. I have now come to Arizona to manage my father’s burial as my mother continues her fight against the coronavirus and our family is working to create a final goodbye for my father in a place where we can (carefully) be together. The funeral and burial services alone are likely to cost over $15,000. In the wake of the pandemic, my mother also lost over half her income and her only remaining source of income is social security. Without Mark’s income, she will also need additional support for essential living costs until she recovers. Our minimum need is $20,000.  

Above and beyond this initial support, it is also our hope that we can come together with our community and extended family to spark generosity that goes beyond his remembrance so that we might provide some level of support to the larger community at-risk in his honor. Mark and Brenda’s neighborhood now leads the world in cases per capita: people experiencing symptoms are waiting 13 hours for a test in 115-degree weather; hospitals are beyond capacity and patients are crammed into rooms together; and equipment is in dangerously low supply. Soon there will be no ventilators available and many patients will not even be granted the care they need to have a chance at recovery. Their neighborhood is 75% people of color and low-income, with a tremendous number of essential workers in harm’s way every day. In light of these overwhelming inequities, any excess money will establish a fund used to battle misinformation in Maricopa County and elevate the truth about the deadliness of this virus in order to save more lives. I will continue to share updates about these efforts. 

We also want to thank everyone for the kind words and support they’ve already shown us throughout Mark’s battle with COVID-19. It means more than words can say. So many have pitched in to help and we want to ask you to keep fighting. We cannot forget that this tragedy is due to the carelessness of AZ Governor Doug Ducey and Donald Trump. Mark was only following the lead of the people in charge. In times of crisis, that's what we're supposed to do and they failed him and the people of Arizona. Before he died, I wrote an open letter to my father and called my community to action.  Read my full post here.

Donations (787)

  • Anonymous
    • $10 
    • 3 yrs
  • Chris Weare
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $5 
    • 3 yrs
  • Leighanne Cole
    • $30 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $10 
    • 3 yrs

Fundraising team (3)

Kristin Urquiza
San Francisco, CA
Kristin Urquiza
Christine Keeves
Team member

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