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Franky Villani announced some sad news on Instagram last weekend: His dad, Marco Villani, suffered a massive heart attack while shopping last Thursday and is now recovering in the hospital. In the past year Marco had lost his job, which left him uninsured, and his medical bills already exceed $200,000. (Hospital officials have told the Villani family that Marco may not qualify for financial assistance.) In the short two-day period since Villani posted on his Instagram about his father’s condition there have already been donations to his GoFundMe campaign totaling $43,000—an astounding amount.
The outpouring of support from Villani’s fans has been an incredible thing to see, and Villani has been showing his appreciation in recent Instagram posts:
“I’ve always felt so alone in the skateboarding industry. I never felt like I quite fit in anywhere. But I was so wrong, the community has uplifted me so much when I have felt so low and drained of hope. I am so thankful for each and every one of you who have even thought positive thoughts for us. I’m so sorry for being so closed off to so many for so long. I don’t know why it has taken this long for me to accept that people really care. I love you guys so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and thank you skateboarding for all the wonderful people you have brought into my life.”
If you are able, please donate to Marco Villani’s GoFundMe campaign here. And, like Franky says, he’s extremely thankful even for just positive thoughts as his family deals with this sad situation.