Community helps 7-year-old girl celebrate recovery from cancer

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Doctors at the University of New Mexico Hospital broke the news to a 7-year-old Los Lunas girl Monday afternoon: “You’re cancer-free.”

As Auriana Martin, 7, walked alongside her dad, it was a walk they’ve been waiting to take for two years. “It’s two years plus in the making,” Ryan Martin said.

Everything about today was done in a big way. A trip to University of New Mexico Hospital began with a Valencia County deputy escort all the way from Los Lunas.

For the last two years, the Martin family has come to know this hospital too well. “We’d be here Monday through Friday, every single day for chemotherapy,” Ryan said.

In 2017, Auriana was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Her mother, Nicole, said her baby’s body was covered in tumors.

“The major tumor in her cheek was inoperable, so they said, ‘You need to pray it is cancer because at least if it’s cancer, chemotherapy will shrink it,'” Ryan said.

Ryan said that’s exactly what they did, they prayed. They asked others to pray as well. The future would be tough for the Martin family and for Auriana. It included 13 spinal infusions, 23 sedations, 2,934 chemo pills and 730 days of chemo overall.

“I think Auriana pulled us through it with her smile and her spirit,” Ryan said. “It wasn’t easy, but I don’t think it would have been as easy as she made it.”

The family said without community support, this journey would have also felt lonely. So, Wednesday, as Auriana made her last trip to UNMH, that community she relied on so much during her darkest days waited for her outside the hospital to help celebrate what will be one of her brightest.

“To be told that we’re cancer-free,” Ryan said.

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