Crowdfunding campaign helps Queen’s University international student pay off 4th year tuition

Click to play video: 'Queen’s University international medical student thankful after successful crowd funding campaign'
Queen’s University international medical student thankful after successful crowd funding campaign
WATCH: Gilmar Gutierrez, a fourth year medical student at Queen's University, paid off his tuition with generous help from the community – Feb 10, 2022

A Queen’s University international student couldn’t afford his fourth year tuition costs when his parents, back in Ecuador, faced financial hardships linked to COVID-19.

So, in December, he launched a $90,000 fundraising campaign counting on the generosity of others.

That generosity has paid off for Gilmar Gutierrez.

Read more: International medical student at Queen’s University turns to fundraising to pay tuition

His story and commitment and funding from others has made for a dream come true, and since that total was reached, Gutierrez was able to pay off his tuition and will graduate medical school later this year.

“The support was absolutely incredible, beyond any of my dreams, and I’ve said it on social media as well,” says Gutierrez.

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“I will never have enough words to thank anyone who donated to really express the gratitude that I feel. So the only thing that I can do to show it is in my actions as a medical professional.

“I will give back and I will do my best to help others the same way I received all this help.”

Gutierrez, who just wrapped up his clerkship at Providence Care Hospital, was more than overwhelmed by the funding support.

So were others, who thought: ‘Why would anyone care about an international medical student from Ecuador?’

“I think the pandemic background definitely plays an important role as well, and we can all relate to that,” says Wenjue Knutsen, Queen’s University adjunct associate professor.

“And I think of the Canadian values, our core values, our core belief in education and health care. He’s going back to help Canadians so I think that’s a reflection of Canadian values as well.”

Read more: Mohawk College student makes plea for tuition help after pandemic hits family business hard

The tuition was officially paid off this past Friday.

“It’s like the biggest weight that I’ve ever experienced on my shoulders has finally been lifted,” says Gutierrez.

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“It’s incredible.”

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