Chris Abril

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Chris Abril died in a car accident at 22. Because of his love for animals, eight of his family and friends rescued an animal in his name.

Submitted photo

It was March last year when Margie Abril received the call that would change her life forever. Her only son, Chris, had been killed in a car accident. A graduate from Brophy College Preparatory, Chris was a senior at Arizona State University and studying to be a veterinarian. The trip to Colorado was to visit the vet school where he had earned a scholarship and where he would be heading in the fall. But Chris, 22, would never make it back home as the injuries he received in the accident were just too severe.

As for his love of animals? Margie says that love began at a very early age when at just 2 years old he started telling people to stop cutting down trees because it would hurt the panda bears. From that point on, Chris proceeded to have every kind of pet possible and often had a magic touch with each and every one of them. That path eventually led him to the Arizona Humane Society where he became a volunteer as he prepared for his future as a veterinarian.

Since the accident, Margie holds dear the belief that Chris lives in her and that wherever he is he is living for her as well and with that she became a volunteer at the Arizona Humane Society and picked up right where Chris left off. As a foster volunteer, Margie became an immediate “foster failure” and adopted her foster cat, Eduardo. And over the past year as a shelter volunteer, Margie has had nearly every volunteer position at AHS from assisting with the cats, the dogs, the critters to attending events to hosting bilingual humane education story time.

This past November, on Chris’s birthday, eight of his friends and family members came to the Arizona Humane Society and each one adopted a pet in his name. To this day, the Abril’s are still receiving letters and donations from people whose lives Chris touched. In addition, Christopher Edward Abril scholarships will be handed out in May at Independence High School in Glendale where Chris’s cousins go to school.

• Beverly Stidham, (480) 898-7924 or

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