Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fireman Wears Full Gear in Charitable Marathon

Christopher Martinez packed on the extra 50 pounds to run the Surf City USA Marathon in Huntington Beach.

He did it to raise money for 2-year-old Mateo Cota, and 9-year-old Phinneus McKenna, who are both fighting cancer and from the Central Coast.

“Life has taught me that you’re not alone — to keep moving forward,” said Martinez, 39. “I wanted to do something to show them that they’re not alone. I’ll be right there, fighting for them.”

Phinn, 9, was diagnosed in January 2014 with level 4 primitive neuroectodermal tumors, cancerous tumors that can develop in or spread to the brain or spinal cord.

Mateo, 3, is undergoing a lengthy treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He was diagnosed in September 2013.

“They’re going through chemo, and that sucks,” Martinez said. “I wanted to put myself in an extreme situation to say I’m fighting but not giving up. I know I’ll have to dig deep sometime during the marathon.”

Running 26.2 miles while wearing full gear, including turnouts — the outer protective gear that firefighters wear — represents his values as a firefighter: service to the community, teamwork and never giving up, he said.

Chris had a goal to raise $10,000 for the boys to split, and he crushed that goal, raising more than $17,000.

--From local news sources, KSBY and SLO Tribune

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