Toronto Inspires when a community celebrates a little girl’s bravery.
By Martina’s mom, Patricia Velasco
Our little daughter, Martina, is a sweet 8 year old, who on September 2012 was diagnosed with a brain tumor, for the third time. After chemotherapy treatment and surgery, followed by radiation treatment, she lost her hair. Martina had lived a hard year. However, she never lost her enthusiasm for school, her passion for playing with her friends or her energy for her Saturday jazz classes.
At school, Martina’s teacher was involved and learned about the consequences of this disease and how Martina could feel every day after the treatment. Sick Kids Hospital assigned a nurse who went to school and explained the details to her class. Her school friends helped her a lot. We saw happiness in her face when she arrived at school every day.
At the end of June, we received an invitation from one of Martina’s friend’s mother for a play date in the park after school. I accepted, but when I asked about the details, she just encouraged me to go and added that we will have a fun time with our kids.
I picked up my girls from school that afternoon. I perceived something strange in the atmosphere because everybody told me that they would see me at the park.
The moment when we arrived at the park is an unforgettable picture. The landscape lit by incredible spring sunshine was filled with mothers, fathers, teachers, grandparents and all the kids from the three grade 2 classes, and more. I could see a lot of hands waving. I could hear a lot of kids shouting. I could feel my tears on my cheeks, and, in a moment, we were receiving countless hugs and kisses. Two tables were prepared with mountains of food and beverages, and a big cake in the middle of the table cloth that said: “with love for Martina”. On the benches, probably 2 or 3, they had posted a large banner made by grade 7’s and 8’s. Around this message: “Marvellous Martina” was stamped the hand prints of all her friends in different colours.
All of them were there for our little girl, to celebrate her courage, her integrity, her happiness, and what her optimism shows us each day. Extra surprises were waiting for Martina. Her little friends had prepared a serving plate signed with their names, gave us a voucher for a weekend in Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark, and made a donation in her name to Sick Kids Hospital. A few days later, we received a lovely picture book that makes us remember those amazing and fantastic moments in which all of them demonstrated to us that we have their support and that we will never be alone.
This is our incredible community and our extraordinary experience. “Everything which comes from the bottom of the heart goes straight to the heart and stay there for ever.”