Jul 24, 2011 12:37 AM by Matt Stafford
Colorado's mixed martial arts community is rallying around one of their own. Alex Constantinides lost his wife, Laurel, and three daughters when they died in rushing waters that pushed their family S.U.V. off a southern Wyoming highway early Tuesday.
Alex is a nationally known ringside doctor for the sport. His family had been living in Colorado Springs.
"We were kind of all stunned," says Natalie Mort, a local mixed martial arts fight promoter for No Mercy Extreme Fighting says of learning the news.
"To have your entire family taken from you, I can't even imagine, I don't want to imagine, it's just devastating," adds Dave Lauritzen for Colorado Springs' Team Victory M.M.A.
"Our hearts really broke for him," says Mort.
This weekend Constantinides would, under normal circumstances, be doing what he does just about every weekend; helping with mixed martial arts fights. Constantinides has worked as a doctor at every level of the sport, and people from all of them are thinking about they guy they call "Doc".
"We love the guy and we feel for him right now," says Lauritzen.
"He has a big heart, and that's just why all of us came together -- because it's one of us," says Chris Solorzano, for Colorado Springs' Team Underground.
They're trying to do what they can to make this difficult time for him a little easier.
"We put the word out there and said for everybody that "Doc" Alex has given a stitch to, donate $5, and we're up to $6,000 right now," says Mort, and that's from all over, too. Possibly the most unique part is that these donations are coming from a sports world not necessarily known for teamwork; one that more often squares people off, rather than bring them together. They say this is different.
"It's just a terrible, terrible situation, but we have to pull together to make sure that we're doing our part to make sure he's okay," says Solorzano.
The groups are raising money to pay for the family's memorial service. It's being planned for Wednesday at noon at the Antlers Hilton in downtown Colorado Springs.
To help with donations you can visit the Colorado M.M.A. website by clicking here, or you can stop by any Wells Fargo Bank and make a deposit to the Constantinides family memorial.