Athletes have often times strived to give back to the people that they perform in front off every time they have a game. St. Louis Cardinals star pitcher Carlos Martinez has done just that with his recent efforts.
Camille Fernandez, a 17-year-old Dominican girl is battling what doctors were once calling an untreatable case of leukemia. Now, thanks to donations. She in an entirely new situation. She was told she only had weeks to live. With a lack of the funds needed to find help, Fernandez’s family had been wandering the streets, going door to door and sending numerous letters to hospitals and medical groups all over the Dominican Republic as well as the United States before receiving help.
“It is pretty cool that her family was doing all that they can to help her even though they didn’t have the funds,” junior Sydney Fetterhoff said.
This help came in the form of Carlos Martinez, his family, his Tsunami Waves foundation, as well as former Cardinal Albert Pujols and his foundation, The Pujols Family Foundation. A group of St. Louis doctors who had traveled to the Dominican city of Puerto Plata and spent a week shortly after Thanksgiving. The doctors were able to help treat over 2000 patients, 9 of which needed the help of the St. Louis doctors to connect them with doctors who could perform the needed surgeries. Among them was Fernandez. Martinez’s wife was moved by Camille’s prognosis and vowed to do anything she could to help.
“It is amazing how many people they were able to help in such a short period of time. I’m sure the work they did impacted everyone in the communities in a positive way and gave them more hope,” sophomore Cole Porter said.
They were able to find the needed help for Fernandez and flew her to St. Louis where she received medical treatment. This treatment was received at Mercy Children’s Hospital, who donated free care. Jazz Pharmaceuticals promised to donate over $250,000 for Camille’s medical treatment.
According to an article on STLToday.com, Martinez has always wanted to help people and help them live in better situations then the one he was in growing up. On January 13, Martinez was at the Cardinals Winter Warmup, signing autographs for fans while wearing a shirt that read “Pray for Camille.”
“I have read a lot about how Carlos grew up and I think it is awesome how much he is willing to help people. He didn’t have the same luxuries that we have when he was growing up which makes him similar to the situation the girl(Fernandez) was in,” junior Sean Meyer said.
While it is still no guarantee that Fernandez will beat her case of cancer, she is in a more stable situation in the states then she was in the Dominican Republic according to articles.