Community Support “Overwhelming” For Miami DJ Battling Mysterious Illness
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NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Well-known Miami DJ Mark Leventhal is in intensive care battling a mysterious infection, according to his family.
Leventhal’s sister, Amy Leventhal says her brother experienced back pain and fatigue, but thought it was a “bad back.”
“Mark didn’t have insurance and I know that because of that he didn’t go to the doctor and I think he’s one of many people who fell without a safety net,” she told CBS4’s Maggie Newland.
Wednesday, she says a friend took Leventhal to urgent care and he was sent straight to the intensive care unit at Jackson North. “He’s got an infection that’s systemic, affecting a lot of his body so it’s really serious,” said Amy Leventhal. She said the infection is affecting her brother’s brain and he is unresponsive.
Leventhal’s son Alec, 19 said he’s in “complete shock.” The college student explained, “I was in class, I just got a call saying ‘You need to call this nurse. Your dad’s really sick’ and I freaked out.”
He rushed home to be with his dad and the rest of his family.
Mark Leventhal has three children, two sons and a daughter.
“My dad, he’s a real big influence on me. I make music and stuff so does my little brother we look up to him a lot,” said Alec Leventhal.
Leventhal has a big following in Miami. Ben Arndt, General Manager of Haven, where Leventhal hosted popular 80’s parties, said, “Mark has been a legend for 20 years at the hottest clubs.” He added, “This is someone who has done personal gigs for weddings for celebrities, has played small private parties for Madonna, Prince and others.”
Arndt says Leventhal is loved by everyone from celebrities to employees at the clubs where he works. “He’s just grown an amazing following through his presence, his passion, his kindness,” said Arndt.
Because he doesn’t have health insurance, Leventhal’s sister started a fundraising page for him. In two days it raised more than $13,000 dollars. People are also using the page to share the ways Mark Leventhal touched their lives. Amy Leventhal says she’s sharing those memories with her brother.
“We’re still talking to him and whether he can hear us or not he’s got to feel the love. It’s throughout this whole town,” she said, adding “This community’s been amazing.”
Here’s a link the fundraising page: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/to-support-and-recognize-mark-leventhal/130704
There will also be a fundraiser Tuesday night at Haven, located at 1237 Lincoln Road on Miami Beach. DJs will donate their time and businesses are donating items for a silent auction. The event begins at 7 p.m. Organizers are asking anyone who comes to donate at least $25 to the fund for Mark Leventhal.