Ben Martinez

As told by Ben's mother, Diane Proctor

Beginning of June 2013, Ben came in with a very tiny bump on his left foot (size of a pea) thinking he had been bit by a spider. It wasn't red, or hot to touch, but I treated it with Benadryl and then some Tylenol for discomfort. On June 13th, we went to Disneyland, but he was complaining of his foot hurting really bad, so bad in fact that he wasn't even able to enjoy Disneyland. We had to let him use the wheel chair that my mom was using. We get back to motel that night and the bump had grown to size of a quarter.

Later that month, I took him to Kaiser, they took x-rays, but didn't see anything, so they sent me to a Podiatrist. By the middle of July the doctor gave us a "special" boot to put on Ben's foot, because he was sure it was a hematoma. He told us that by our next visit, the hematoma should be almost gone. Nope. It had grown to a size of a chicken egg. 

After surgery, it continued to swell. The doctor came out said he'd never seen anything like it. It was dead and all eaten up in there. On September 3, 2013, our lives were changed - we got the diagnosis with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma.

It was about a week after that he started to lose his hair. We went for six weeks of radiation (on foot) - they found cancer cells had bypassed lymph nodes in his knee area, made their way straight up the sentinel lymph node into his left groin area. Radiation there was five weeks. We've been receiving chemo ever since. We had a scare in December, because there was a difference in CT scans from September to December in his T3 area, the doctors were almost positive it was the cancer. Thank goodness, there was no cancer detected when biopsy was done.

Update:  Sadly, Ben relapsed in January of 2015. He fought his cancer for another year and three months. On April 14, 2016 Ben finished his fight with rhabdomyosarcoma and passed away. He was surrounded by his family and those who loved him. Ben will never be forgotten and will always be loved. Our condolences to Ben's mother Diane and his brother Rob.