A Filipino American student who would have celebrated his 21st birthday this weekend instead will be buried on Sunday.
According to an obituary, the smile of Nathan Tyler Valencia “illuminated every room he walked into.” Nathan died November 23 at the age of 20.
KLAS reports he died participating in a charity boxing event put on by the fraternity Kappa Sigma and the proceeds of the event were designated for Center Ring Boxing.
Valencia apparently participated without any boxing experience, according to this friend Joe Castro who spoke to KLAS.
“You know it’s just. It’s tough. It’s really tough ’cause he just he was a great guy.”
Castro said it was clear after the match that something was wrong and said Valencia could not even walk straight.
Valencia’s mother told KLAS she tried to talk him out of participating, but he insisted because it was for charity.
He is not a member of Kappa Sigma, but is described in his obituary as “an active member of UNLV’s (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) Sigma Alpha Epsilon.”
The family’s attorney says the event organizer did not arrange for any doctors to be at the event.
In a statement, attorney Nick Lasso called Valencia’s death “entirely avoidable and unnecessary.”
UNLV extended condolences to the family and said it was looking into what happened.
Kappa Sigma described itself as “saddened” by Valencia’s death and sent its “deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers” to the family.
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