Lengthy Seaside Mayor Robert Garcia’s household begins a Mom’s Reminiscence Scholarship after her coronavirus loss of life – CBS Los Angeles
LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – Moncton Mayor Robert Garcia speaks up after his mother dies from complications from the coronavirus and encourages people to take the pandemic seriously.
“Losing her is incredibly devastating for me, my brother and our family, but she led a joyous life. We are very proud of them, ”said Garcia.
Garcia’s mother, 61-year-old Gaby O’Donnell, moved her family from Peru to the United States when she was five.
He says O’Donnell represented the American Dream and worked on cleaning houses, learning English and raising her two sons before finally getting a job at a clinic where she worked for more than 25 years. She also later received her US citizenship.
“When I was young, she worked several jobs. She had come home from the clinic and worked one shift. And then she would take another job at night. Or she would work in another clinic and do another shift, ”Garcia said.
Garcia said his mother’s hard work inspired him and his brother Jake to pursue higher education, which led them to graduate from California State University at Moncton.
The Mayor of Moncton is hoping to keep his mother’s memory alive, honor the frontline workers during this pandemic, and encourage Americans to do whatever they can to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“People have to take this seriously. Young people need to be responsible, self-sacrificing, wear a mask and have social distance, ”said Garcia. “If you’re still out there calling this thing a joke. In all honesty, you are creating a danger in our community. “
O’Donnell wore her protective gear at work, but it’s unclear where or how she contracted the coronavirus.
Her sons established a scholarship fund in Cal State Moncton for migrant women pursuing careers in healthcare.
O’Donnell’s husband and the Mayor’s stepfather, Greg O’Donnell, are currently on a ventilator while he is also battling the coronavirus.
Garcia said former Vice President Joe Biden reached out to him after learning of his mother’s death.
“Tonight I got a call from the Vice President @Joe Biden about my mother. I cannot express enough how much comfort it has brought me. My family will forever be grateful for his words and support. “
Tonight I got a call from Vice President @JoeBiden through my mom. I cannot express enough how much comfort it has brought me. My family will forever be grateful for his words and support.
– Robert Garcia (@RobertGarciaLB) July 29, 2020
“I became a citizen when I was 21. At 36, I became mayor. It’s up to my mother. It’s because of their work and their sacrifice, ”Garcia said.
Mayor Garcia did not test positive for the virus.