Fundraiser aims to help Toledo man rebuild lifeWritten by Bailey G. Dick | | email@example.com
An accident that left him disabled. A burglary that turned into a violent attack. The death of a child.
Joseph Marckel Sr. has already faced staggering challenges in his life. Then last week his home burned to the ground.
Now, his son is hoping the community will come together to help the Toledo man start a new life.
Jospeh Marckel Jr. started a GoFundMe website to tell his father’s story and raise funds to help his dad get back on his feet.
“My father has been through so much in life and the only thing he had left went up in flames last Friday,” the younger Marckel wrote on the page.
This isn’t the first time a fire has brought tragedy to the Marckel family. In 1987, Joseph Sr.’s daughter died in a house fire.
Only a few years later, the elder Marckel was left disabled after a motorcycle accident. After being in a coma for six months, Marckel recovered slowly, but now has trouble hearing, speaking, seeing and walking, and is unable to work due to his disability. After his accident, a family member gave him a home on Erie Street in Toledo’s South End.
He lived in the home for years, and enjoyed having some independence, according to the younger Marckel.
But in February 2009, the home was broken into. The elder Marckel and his cousin Kenneth Lagger were severely beaten and knocked unconscious. Marckel had to have 15 staples in his head, while both of Lagger’s legs were broken and his ear was cut off.
After the incident, the relative who gave Marckel the home had an alarm system put in, and bought him a dog for protection.
On Jan. 17, tragedy touched Marckel again when his South End home was completely destroyed by a fire that began at a neighboring house. The family says occupants of the neighboring house started a fire on the second floor of their home, and winds blew the flames onto Marckel’s roof.
Remarkably, the dog who was given to Marckel for his protection actually saved his life.
“The dog woke him up, and pulled him out of the room to where the steps were,” said Marckel Jr.
As Marckel Sr. and his dog made it out of the smoke-filled house and relatives arrived, half of the house was engulfed in flames. Now, nothing but debris remains where the house once stood.
Marckel is now staying with relatives, but his son says his father is keen to be independent again.
“He lived in that house for 20, 30 years. We talked to him about assisted living, but he’s really stubborn. He doesn’t want help,” Marckel Jr. said. “He wants to live independently.”
According to the GoFundMe page, the family hopes to raise $10,000 to help Marckel Sr. get a new home and a fresh start. In the three days the page has been up, $740 has been raised.
“All my dad wants is to have a normal life and put all this stuff in the past,” said Marckel Jr. “We just hope to raise the money to help him do that.”
If you would like to help the Marckel family, you can donate to them via their fundraising page at www.gofundme.com/6gni1k.