Marquez's Burn Recovery Fund

$76,222 of $40k goal

Raised by 2,401 people in 13 months
Vickie Gray
on behalf of Jaya Tolbert
 RIVERDALE, GA
My name is Vickie and I am a friend of Jaya Tolbert's family. On February 12, 2016, Jaya's son Marquez was visiting a friend when they were brutally attacked and doused with a pot of boiling hot water while they lay sleeping.  

Their attacker has been charged with Aggrevated Battery. You see, Marquez and his friend were attacked simply because of who they chose to love. Marquez suffered severe burns to his face, neck, arms, and back that required skin graft surgeory. I cannot mention the name of his friend to protect the privacy of his family. But I will tell you his burns were so extreme that he is still in an induced coma in intensive care.

Their attacker is the boyfriend of Marquez's friend's mother. He didn't fore warn them and there was no altercation before the incident. They had no idea of the hatred he held in his heart. It was a ruthless attack that no one deserves. After they were burned, their attacker forced them out of the home, showing no remorse. They had to go door to door searching for help. The first doors they knocked on, the tennants would not help them.  

I have watched Marquez's mother suffer right along with him. When he came out to her, she told me that her son being harmed was her greatest fear. It's a shame that our society places that kind on fear in a parent's heart. It gives you a feeling of helplessness, and when it acutally occurs, you lose hope. Marquez is home now, but has a long road to recovery. Through it all, he has remained strong and not disheartened by what has happened to him. I am so impressed by his character. He has been focused on healing, and in a way, has been holding up his mother.  

The family needs immediate help with medical bills, and the everyday expenses of recovery such as prescription drugs and dressings for the burns.  I and the family will be so grateful for any donation your heart compels you to give.  

All donated funds will be used for medical bills, prescriptions, supplies, and everyday expenses such as rent and utilities.  Marquez assisted his mother with home expenses. He had just started a new job, so he doesn't have work benefits.
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Update 14
Posted by Vickie Gray
7 months ago
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2
2
I have received many requests for a picture of Marquez and Mom Jaya. This is a very recent picture and they are about the business of moving on with their lives. Sadly, Marquez and Anthony's new relationship did not survive the tragedy. Although he wears compression garments and avoids the sun, he has settled into a daily routine. Thank you everyone!
Jaya and Marquez, mother & son
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Update 13
Posted by Vickie Gray
7 months ago
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Natascha Dulin, the money goes into his mom's account because he is a young man who still lives at home, dealing with unbelievable stress and pain. It is absolutely necessary for his mom to handle his business affairs while he heals. He is receiving the money from his mom. Marquez is totally OK with this arrangement and all of his needs are being met with the funds appropriately. Please do not punish those in need because someone posted an ill informed remark by not donating in the future. True, there are dishonest people but myself and the Tolbert family are Doing The Right Thing! There is no shame because the right thing is being done.
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Update 12
Posted by Vickie Gray
7 months ago
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5
5
I would like to assure everyone that I do not receive, or withhold any of the donations for Marquez. The money is set up to go directly to his mother. You may verify this with GoFundMe or the Tolbert Family. Thank you so much for your support.
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Update 11
Posted by Vickie Gray
7 months ago
   Share
3
3
Hello everyone, the verdict is in. GUILTY. The roller-coaster of emotions has rounded the final curve, let out a sigh of relief, relax the grip, shout oooooohohwee, look proudly at everyone around and say I made it! Marquez and his family are beyond grateful for the love and support which allowed them to focus totally on healing. There are still some challenges, but they will be met knowing there is always a remedy. Thank You and God Bless!!!! Here is a link to the trial summary. Pics coming soon.....
http://www.projectq.us/atlanta/Fulton_man_found_guilty_of_heinous_attack_on_gay_couple?gid=17973
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Read a Previous Update
Marquez Tolbert
12 months ago

Thank you so much M'kali. I really appreciate those kind words. I am fully working on my mental health as well. He may have altered my body a little, but he'll never destroy my spirit.

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M'kali-Hashiki Nln
12 months ago

I posted it on my wall. I'm also queer, black, & a survivor of 2nd & 3rd degree burns as well. You can do this, Marquez. It will be long & hard, but don't give up hope. In addition to physical healing, also work on your mental healing (don't wait 30 years like I did). Check out the Phoenix Society https://www.phoenix-society.org/ to see what help they may be able to offer in your area. And if you ever make it to the World Burn Congress, look for me!

+ Read More
Cleo Manago
12 months ago

Thanks to all of my friends and colleagues who answered my FaceBook challenge to match my donation or give something otherwise to this cause. The amount then was about $6,000. It is now over $40,000. Thanks so much to those I know, and everyone FOR coming through for Marquez. We all wish him well!

+ Read More
Ira Levi
12 months ago

PLEASE change the description from 'who they chose to love" to "who God chose for them to love". God Bless You all....

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Efrén Francisco Solanas
12 months ago

Vickie. This story breaks my heart. I have made a donation and posted in on my Facebook feed. I am glad that Marquez and his friend have an ally in you. Thank you for reaching out and asking for support. Blessings to you and the boys.

+ Read More
Regan DuCasse
12 months ago

Unfortunately, I am unemployed and cannot help with the funding. What I can offer, is the love and respect I feel for this young man and his friend and best hopes for a full recovery from such devastating injuries. My heart always breaks that such brutality is directed at our LGT family, just for being LGT. Marquez, know that someone loves you all the way from Studio City, Los Angeles, CA. There are more kind people I'm sure will help you, the more you reach out. Good luck, sweetheart and take care.

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Tammy Martin Patterson
12 months ago

Praying for the whole family! Love u all

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Patricia Henderson
12 months ago
7
7

If you havent already you should talk to a social worker at the hospital about applying for medicaid if they have no insurance. Even if they have insurance the copays for drugs, dressings etc can be extremely high. Its so sad that this act of violence occured in their own house. The guy couldnt just tell them to get out. He had to do this

+ Read More
Mickey J. Sabb
12 months ago
5
5

Im so sadden by what happened to you. you are completely and sincerely in my prayers... and i pray that the person who did this assault to you reaps all that he sows. and you will continuously be victorious before all your enemies.. and they will serve you at your feet begging you for mercy. you continue to stay bless.. and dont let nothing... not one thing on this earth get you down. you are a victor and i send so much love to you Marquez and your boyfriend.. and i pray for the best in your favor. God bless you real Good.. and you will continuously be in my prayers,

+ Read More
Frank Clark
12 months ago
5
5

I am saddened by this. It is disturbing that this kind of thing continues to go on; I donated what I can, and shared on my FB. May your recoveries be short, may the scars heal, and the wounds in your hearts strengthen you.

+ Read More
Adrian Bartholomeo
12 months ago
4
4

Wishing both men so very much love

+ Read More
Alessandra Firmani
12 months ago
3
3

This story truly broke my heart when I read it today in the WP. Sending what I can from Italy with peace and love in my heart!

+ Read More
Washington Osiro
12 months ago
3
3

This story should touch the hearts of all regardless of sexual orientation. There is absolutely no justification for the pain and suffering caused by one person's darkness and hatred -- NONE! Marquez, you are in my/our thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and faithful and find solace in the knowledge that millions outside the LGBT community wish you a speedy recovery.

+ Read More
Victor Spivey
12 months ago
3
3

Vickie you are an ANGEL! May God continue to bless these young people.

+ Read More
Cacy Forgenie
12 months ago
3
3

Much love to you, Vickie, Marquez, his mom and his friend. I am saddened and appalled that such a thing could happen to these young men who thought being "home" meant safety. It breaks my heart further that a black man could do this to another black man. I pray for the recovery of Marquez and his friend. Our Lord is a just Lord and gay people here and abroad know the Lord's love despite the horror visited upon us daily.

+ Read More
Chris Glassanos
12 months ago
2
2

Gentlemen, you have my unconditional love and support. What was perpetrated is a crime against all of humanity, but those are distant and lonely words. All I can tell you is that I love you completely and accept you as my brothers. I love you, I love you, I love you. You are my brothers and you are my family. God speed your rehabilitation. Keep us updated. We are now family and we want to know your struggles and triumphs as you COME BACK from this. With all my heart and soul, Chris Glassanos Franklin, MA

+ Read More
Efrén Francisco Solanas
12 months ago
2
2

Topping $43K today!. Amidst so much grim news in our country, this is a bit of light. I am so grateful to Vickie for organizing this effort and to everyone who has participated. May Marquez and his friend feel the depth of our support.

+ Read More
Whitney Jade
12 months ago
2
2

I'm hoping and praying for your recovery. The monster that did this to you needs to be under the jail. God bless you!

+ Read More
Anthony Ritsua
12 months ago
2
2

This is so horrific. Words cannot express my feelings. Wishing you healing, strength, peace and all other good things to come your way. Please hang in there!

+ Read More
Deanna Celeste Brownlee
12 months ago
2
2

Sweet, beautiful Marquez and Anthony . . . Just like the both of you, I am a human being. I, too, have been treated poorly because I am different, but I have never been brutalized for it. It breaks my heart that this kind of disgusting, psychotic, deranged, senseless violence is still happening. It sickens me that this has happened to both of you as fellow human beings. Even if Blackwood never sees the light of day again, it will never change what he has done to you both. My hope is that you both recover as quickly and as painlessly as possible, and that the physical and mental scars do not remain. My heart goes out to each and everyone affected. I can't even wrap my mind around the unbelievable obscenities that have occurred. I am just so sorry. I can't do much financially as I have a GoFundMe page, too. But I hope that you take comfort in my words. I will see if I can donate two or three dollars for each of you. Get well soon!

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$76,222 of $40k goal

Raised by 2,401 people in 13 months
Created February 28, 2016
Vickie Gray  
on behalf of Jaya Tolbert
GB
$25
greg brown
2 months ago(Monthly Donation)
$25
Anonymous
3 months ago(Monthly Donation)
GB
$25
greg brown
3 months ago(Monthly Donation)
$15
David Messineo
4 months ago

Glad you are slowly getting better. I encouraged people to donate to this at my two feature poetry readings in April 2016, and glad to see individuals did. Best wishes to you.

$25
Anonymous
4 months ago(Monthly Donation)
GB
$25
greg brown
4 months ago(Monthly Donation)
$25
Anonymous
5 months ago(Monthly Donation)
RM
$25
Robert Morris
5 months ago

Praying for your continued healing, Marquez. Look up young brother!

GB
$25
greg brown
5 months ago(Monthly Donation)
$25
Anonymous
6 months ago(Monthly Donation)
Marquez Tolbert
12 months ago

Thank you so much M'kali. I really appreciate those kind words. I am fully working on my mental health as well. He may have altered my body a little, but he'll never destroy my spirit.

+ Read More
M'kali-Hashiki Nln
12 months ago

I posted it on my wall. I'm also queer, black, & a survivor of 2nd & 3rd degree burns as well. You can do this, Marquez. It will be long & hard, but don't give up hope. In addition to physical healing, also work on your mental healing (don't wait 30 years like I did). Check out the Phoenix Society https://www.phoenix-society.org/ to see what help they may be able to offer in your area. And if you ever make it to the World Burn Congress, look for me!

+ Read More
Cleo Manago
12 months ago

Thanks to all of my friends and colleagues who answered my FaceBook challenge to match my donation or give something otherwise to this cause. The amount then was about $6,000. It is now over $40,000. Thanks so much to those I know, and everyone FOR coming through for Marquez. We all wish him well!

+ Read More
Ira Levi
12 months ago

PLEASE change the description from 'who they chose to love" to "who God chose for them to love". God Bless You all....

+ Read More
Efrén Francisco Solanas
12 months ago

Vickie. This story breaks my heart. I have made a donation and posted in on my Facebook feed. I am glad that Marquez and his friend have an ally in you. Thank you for reaching out and asking for support. Blessings to you and the boys.

+ Read More
Regan DuCasse
12 months ago

Unfortunately, I am unemployed and cannot help with the funding. What I can offer, is the love and respect I feel for this young man and his friend and best hopes for a full recovery from such devastating injuries. My heart always breaks that such brutality is directed at our LGT family, just for being LGT. Marquez, know that someone loves you all the way from Studio City, Los Angeles, CA. There are more kind people I'm sure will help you, the more you reach out. Good luck, sweetheart and take care.

+ Read More
Tammy Martin Patterson
12 months ago

Praying for the whole family! Love u all

+ Read More
Patricia Henderson
12 months ago
7
7

If you havent already you should talk to a social worker at the hospital about applying for medicaid if they have no insurance. Even if they have insurance the copays for drugs, dressings etc can be extremely high. Its so sad that this act of violence occured in their own house. The guy couldnt just tell them to get out. He had to do this

+ Read More
Mickey J. Sabb
12 months ago
5
5

Im so sadden by what happened to you. you are completely and sincerely in my prayers... and i pray that the person who did this assault to you reaps all that he sows. and you will continuously be victorious before all your enemies.. and they will serve you at your feet begging you for mercy. you continue to stay bless.. and dont let nothing... not one thing on this earth get you down. you are a victor and i send so much love to you Marquez and your boyfriend.. and i pray for the best in your favor. God bless you real Good.. and you will continuously be in my prayers,

+ Read More
Frank Clark
12 months ago
5
5

I am saddened by this. It is disturbing that this kind of thing continues to go on; I donated what I can, and shared on my FB. May your recoveries be short, may the scars heal, and the wounds in your hearts strengthen you.

+ Read More
Adrian Bartholomeo
12 months ago
4
4

Wishing both men so very much love

+ Read More
Alessandra Firmani
12 months ago
3
3

This story truly broke my heart when I read it today in the WP. Sending what I can from Italy with peace and love in my heart!

+ Read More
Washington Osiro
12 months ago
3
3

This story should touch the hearts of all regardless of sexual orientation. There is absolutely no justification for the pain and suffering caused by one person's darkness and hatred -- NONE! Marquez, you are in my/our thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and faithful and find solace in the knowledge that millions outside the LGBT community wish you a speedy recovery.

+ Read More
Victor Spivey
12 months ago
3
3

Vickie you are an ANGEL! May God continue to bless these young people.

+ Read More
Cacy Forgenie
12 months ago
3
3

Much love to you, Vickie, Marquez, his mom and his friend. I am saddened and appalled that such a thing could happen to these young men who thought being "home" meant safety. It breaks my heart further that a black man could do this to another black man. I pray for the recovery of Marquez and his friend. Our Lord is a just Lord and gay people here and abroad know the Lord's love despite the horror visited upon us daily.

+ Read More
Chris Glassanos
12 months ago
2
2

Gentlemen, you have my unconditional love and support. What was perpetrated is a crime against all of humanity, but those are distant and lonely words. All I can tell you is that I love you completely and accept you as my brothers. I love you, I love you, I love you. You are my brothers and you are my family. God speed your rehabilitation. Keep us updated. We are now family and we want to know your struggles and triumphs as you COME BACK from this. With all my heart and soul, Chris Glassanos Franklin, MA

+ Read More
Efrén Francisco Solanas
12 months ago
2
2

Topping $43K today!. Amidst so much grim news in our country, this is a bit of light. I am so grateful to Vickie for organizing this effort and to everyone who has participated. May Marquez and his friend feel the depth of our support.

+ Read More
Whitney Jade
12 months ago
2
2

I'm hoping and praying for your recovery. The monster that did this to you needs to be under the jail. God bless you!

+ Read More
Anthony Ritsua
12 months ago
2
2

This is so horrific. Words cannot express my feelings. Wishing you healing, strength, peace and all other good things to come your way. Please hang in there!

+ Read More
Deanna Celeste Brownlee
12 months ago
2
2

Sweet, beautiful Marquez and Anthony . . . Just like the both of you, I am a human being. I, too, have been treated poorly because I am different, but I have never been brutalized for it. It breaks my heart that this kind of disgusting, psychotic, deranged, senseless violence is still happening. It sickens me that this has happened to both of you as fellow human beings. Even if Blackwood never sees the light of day again, it will never change what he has done to you both. My hope is that you both recover as quickly and as painlessly as possible, and that the physical and mental scars do not remain. My heart goes out to each and everyone affected. I can't even wrap my mind around the unbelievable obscenities that have occurred. I am just so sorry. I can't do much financially as I have a GoFundMe page, too. But I hope that you take comfort in my words. I will see if I can donate two or three dollars for each of you. Get well soon!

+ Read More
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