Famed Singer and Songwriter Mary Griffin recently shared with Urban Lux Magazine the story of her beloved son Orlando and his very unfortunate accident that took place on October 3, 2014. Her son and only child, Orlando Griffin, left home that day looking forward to participating in an exhibition MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fight on behalf of the Children’s Cancer Society Charity event, which suddenly took a left turn leaving Orlando in a condition that would dramatically alter his life.
The purpose of the event was to raise funds for children living and born with cancer. The Children’s Cancer Society sought to use this exhibition to generate public response and solicit funding for their organization. This of course, was Orlando’s aim for being involved in the exhibition. But to his dismay, things began to go downhill once he stepped foot in the ring. Orlando was paired up by the event promoter with a fighter who had no formal martial arts training. The idea was for both fighters to demonstrate skill and technique for entertainment purposes only on behalf of the children and national sponsors present.
As the fight unfolded, Orlando’s opponent received numerous reprimands for his illegal moves in the ring. He became extremely caught up in the exhibition and rammed Orlando’s head into his knee. The referee again deemed this an illegal hit and terminated the fight. As for Orlando, this blow to the face left him with multiple fractures and breaks in the bone structure of his face. He was taken to UMC Hospital in LA but the hospital refused to treat him because he had no insurance. Ms. Griffin explained that Orlando was discharged with “a crushed nose, a swollen face, two broken orbitals, broken upper maxilla, and cerebral fluids leaking from his eyes and nostrils.”
Orlando has since been locked in his apartment for about 17 months and only goes out when having to visit his neurologist. He is in need of serious reconstructive surgeries that will require time and expertise in order to rebuild his face from the trauma. To date, there has been no assistance or follow-up from the organizations who initially asked Orlando to participate in this fundraising effort.
According to Ms. Griffin, the Children’s Cancer Society had a two million dollar liability insurance policy along with ISKA Foundation a $25,000 liability insurance policy which were required to host this type of fighting exhibition event. She states that neither ever offered to help pay for Orlando’s surgeries which left Ms. Griffin with the major financial challenge of getting her son’s total surgery needs completed.
Not long before this tragic event, Orlando had been hard training in Martial Arts to be a U.S. Olympian contender. His training consisted of strenuous workout routines and a strict diet, which he absolutely did not veer from. In fact, for a decade of his life, he’s been a vegan. Additionally, Orlando worked out almost every day for about 15 hours a day to prepare.
His attitude has always been to help and inspire others and be an encouragement to other young men who come from the same type of upbringing as his own. Raised by a single mother and knowing what it’s like to have no father around to guide him, Orlando clearly has the heart to help other young men. He used his body building/ diet regiment gift to build their self-esteem and mentor them. Unfortunately, since the incident, his broken spirit has left him in a very low place morally which poses great concern to his mother who lives in Texas.
With close to 30 years in the music industry, including years as a background vocalist for Patti LaBelle, and over 20 platinum records and soundtracks, Mary Griffin says that she has had to put things on hold lately to really focus her attention on getting help for her son. His surgery will cost approximately $58,000 and her main focus above all else is to raise the funds necessary to rebuild not only her son’s visage, but ultimately to restore his hope.