Martha is a fairly normal 15 year old girl…at least at first sight. She wears her hair in a short bob. She enjoys being active by riding her road and mountain bikes. She accelerates as an artist and a budding engineer. Despite both these athletic and artistic talents, she is rather humble–rising sophomore doesn’t feel she needs to be good at them. She’s just having fun.
Martha also beat cancer in 8 months. In August of 2015, after frequent hip pain, she found out she had a tumor in her pelvis. It turned out to be Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of soft tissue and bone cancer that most often effects children and teens. At the outset, her family was informed the survival rate was between 25 and 30 percent.
How did Martha stay so positive? Apparently, some people simply posses the strength to do so, no matter their age. She used a marshmallow shooter to keep her nurses on their toes whenever they came into her room. Instead of feeling confined to an IV cart, she rode it like a skateboard through the hallways of the hospital. In February of 2016 she decided that come May she would be running the Bolder Boulder: a massive 10k race that takes place annually in her hometown.
She wrote this poem:
Roses are red,
My eyes are greenish-blue.
Don’t cry boo-hoo,
‘Cuz I’m gonna live ’til 92.
Martha’s positivity rubbed off on everyone else. By May, her friends, family, and nurses were registered for the Bolder Boulder right along side her. This was a single month after finding out she was cancer-free. In July, she rode 64 miles through the Rocky Mountains for the Courage Classic, raising $6,000 for the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation.
Was beating cancer easy? It was certainly hard to tell. From an outsider’s viewpoint, it seemed like a bullet point on her “to do” list. However the chemo and radiation definitely took their toll. As she shuttled back and forth from the hospital in her family’s minivan, she fought exhaustion, nausea, a weakened immune system, and many other challenging symptoms.
This year, her whole family participated in the Courage Classic. Martha and her dad completed a lengthy 154 miles in two days. As if this wasn’t enough, her brother Sean completed the shorter course on a 36 inch unicycle. Yes, that’s right. A unicycle. Her mom also completed the shorter course, and her older brother Ian and twin sister Annie volunteered. By the end of August, Martha’s team is hoping to raise $400,000.
Want to help them reach their goal? Click here.