Leukemia Research Foundation News

Blessings Paid Forward

Frank Martinez was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) on March 31, 1994 when his wife was five months pregnant. After three rounds of heavy chemotherapy, he went into remission but relapsed within months. His second course of treatment included experimental drug therapy, more chemotherapy, full-body radiation (twice daily), and finally, a transplant of his own irradiated bone marrow. Years later, Frank is in complete remission.

His is a great story of survival. Generally, there is a lack of adults willing to participate in clinical trials. He is living proof of a person who gambled on experimental therapy – and won.

Frank was inspired to fundraise and support research, and in 2002 Frank and his family founded the A La Vida Chapter of the Leukemia Research Foundation. His zest for life and love of dancing led to the Salsa to Survive fundraiser which featured a Salsa contest, a dinner buffet, silent auction. and cash raffle. Guests danced the night away while funding research and providing support to fund the mission of the Leukemia Research Foundation.

Frank is a two-time leukemia survivor and served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Leukemia Research Foundation from 2006 to 2009.

He has not slowed down – he enjoys time with his family, his love of classic cars, and his involvement with the Leukemia Research Foundation. He is thankful to the donors that fund research and the researchers doing the important work to find new treatments.

“Research saved my life. That’s why I have made a bequest in my will to the Leukemia Research Foundation, so that the work of the Foundation can thrive for generations to come.” Frank shared. “I know what a tremendous difference supporting research means. My family benefited from research and I want to pay it forward so others do too.”


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