October 24, 2017, Fairfield, CA – On any normal day, Marco Guzman, Jr. is a supervisor for Sutter Medical Foundation’s (SMF) Cardiology, Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine services, based in care centers located in Fairfield, CA.
But recently, on a day that by any stretch of the imagination was not normal, Marco the supervisor became “Marco the superfriend” and he, along with a few of his West Coast Avengers teammates, helped bring some joy to people dealing with the devastating wild fires in California’s wine country.
Spiderman, Captain America, Deadpool, Black Widow and others were available for hugs and photos as they made their way to evacuation centers in the affected areas to provide a much-needed distraction for evacuees.
“I felt helpless seeing my community under fire,” said Guzman, who lives near the areas affected by the fires. “Thinking about all the kids and families who had to evacuate their homes saddened me.”
So, Marco connected with fellow members of the West Coast Avengers (WCA), a cosplay group he has been with since 2015. The group attends many events, including visits to hospitals, charity events, and movie premieres, always with the goal to make people smile. The WCA partnered with a cosplay team from Santa Rosa (Hope, Love and Magic), quickly discussed how to help with this very unique tragedy, planned out a visit schedule, and set out to offer whatever comfort they could.
Sharing the idea on their Facebook page, the superheroes soon realized that there were everyday heroes in their community who wanted to help as well.
“Once our community heard about our mission, they all reached out via social media and started to collect new donated toys on our behalf,” said Marco. “We were overwhelmed by the response, and in total, we provided comfort and support to over 400 evacuees and 200 kids. We delivered 600 toys, blankets and items of clothing to those in need.”
Marco and his friends were even asked to take photos with volunteers and first responders. “The fire department, law enforcement, first responders, volunteers, and the community were the true heroes in this situation,” said Marco. “We were honored to join them to help in our own unique way.”
The group ultimately visited four evacuation centers — one in Napa, two in Santa Rosa, and one in Petaluma. “We met so many appreciative families and it was reassuring to see how our community stepped in to help one another,” said Marco.
Marco has returned to his supervisor position at Sutter Medical Foundation —an everyday hero in his health care role— but for one memorable day, he and his friends made a lasting impression on those who needed help.
About Sutter Medical Foundation
Sutter Medical Foundation is part of Sutter Health, a family of not-for-profit hospitals, physician organizations and other medical services that share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. Serving more than 100 communities in Northern California, Sutter Health is a regional leader in cardiac care, cancer treatment, orthopedics, obstetrics, and newborn intensive care, and is a pioneer in advanced patient safety technology. Learn more about Sutter Medical Foundation.