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My parents, Ray and Carol (best known as “Peachie”) Martin, tried for years to have children, but could not. The doctors told my mother that her body was too weak. My Mom was barely 5 foot tall and weighed 105 pounds, but she had the heart of a giant. Finally, at the age of 39, she became pregnant with me. When I was born, I was premature and very sick; the doctors told my father that they were not sure if my mother and I were going to live. Somehow we did.
When I was growing up my mother decided to open her own cleaning business. She would go door to door to solicit her business. She would not put flyers in the mailbox, but rather made sure she introduced herself to her prospective clients. She started with one customer and by the time she had passed away she had more than 50 loyal customers. She was determined, strong and persistent. She never laughed at me when I told her I wanted to be an actor; instead somehow she got me hooked up with a real New York agent and even got to see me in a few movies before she got sick.
In the summer of 2002, my mom’s sister Joyce Sarocy passed away from cancer that had spread throughout her body. My Aunt Joyce was the strongest, brutally honest, loving person that I have ever met besides my mother. We spent every Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years at her house for dinner. Her and my mother were not only sisters… but best friends. Her children, Joe and Colleen Sarocy, are more than my cousins… they are my brother and sister. After the passing of Joyce, it broke all of our hearts and we felt that my mom could then carry us through. Unfortunately, my mom got sick soon after. She started to complain about back pain. She thought the pain was from carrying the vacuum up and down the stairs for all those years, or maybe a kidney stone. We went to the emergency room and the doctors ran several tests, determining she had tumors on her colon. The doctors told us she had colon cancer for 12 years and that if she would have just taken the time to see a doctor they would have found it earlier. My mother said she never had the time; she was too busy working because all she ever wanted was to give me a life she never had. The doctors gave her three months to live, but she only lasted one.
When she passed away I moved back home from NY to be with my father. He told me something I never knew; when I was born the doctors didn’t know if I was going to live. My mother prayed and asked God to let me live and he could take her when I turned 21. She found out she had cancer two weeks after my 21st birthday.
My mother was my best friend. She taught me that there is nothing in life that cannot be yours. If you want something bad enough, you go out and get it. Joey and I decided for our family and in memory of our mothers, Peachie and Joyce, that we would host the to host the Peachie & Joyce Celebrity Charity Basketball Game. With the help of all of our team, we are going into our 9th year strong. Looking forward to raising as much money as we can to help as many families as we can with Bringing Hope Home. Please remember, even though you get cancer on your own, you don’t have to fight it alone.
Any questions on the event, please contact Ray Martin directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org