MIKEY GARCIA VISITS LLU CHILDREN HOSPITAL

Mikey Garcia poses with boxing fan Gilbert at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. Garcia is holding his Super Featherweight title belt.

As the estimated 70 sick or injured youth at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital came up to Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia, the two-time World Boxing Association champion was obviously impressed by the courage of the young warriors. Garcia was among 30 civic leaders who took part in Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Community Day on Aug. 18.

Many of the children were too young to know Mikey Garcia but they all appreciated his goody table filled with toys, coloring books, souvenirs, tee shirts, and hats. One 14-year-old boy recognized Garcia and lifted himself out of his wheel chair to pose for a picture. Many mothers and fathers recognized Garcia and had a photo taken with him.

Garcia and his wife Fatima have decided their notoriety has enabled them to support as many youth programs as possible. It is doubtful they will ever attend another so eye-opening. “What I do is nothing compared to what these kids are going through,” said Garcia. “I didn’t know what to expect today. Everybody is fighting for something. There was no way to prepare for this,” said Garcia, who greeted children hooked up to oxygen, chemotherapy, dialysis, and feeding tubes. All maintaining the composure of true champions, with none revealing their physical or mental pain. One father said his daughter had undergone 62 surgeries.

“I have kids of my own and this brings it into prospective,” reasoned Garcia. “I like helping people out. Maybe I can provide them a few minutes of joy.” For Fatima Garcia, it was the first time she’s accompanied her husband to a community event. “It’s important that we give back anyway we can,” said Fatima. A representative from Team Garcia said the fighter quietly helps a number of causes.

“Garcia’s doing great again. He looked good in his first fight back,” said Craig Caparaz, a patient care assistant at the Children’s Hospital. “He’s doing a lot of good being here today. I’ve followed his career for seven years.”

From the looks of it Garcia will probably be back at the Children’s Hospital again. Perhaps next visit he’ll come with a new championship belt. Either way, Garcia said Tuesday’s visit will be memorable. “I’ll take this with me forever.”