“Team Hulio” raised almost $30,000 to help the Martins’ family through Dave Martins’ terminal brain cancer diagnosis. From left: Laura Martins, Dave Martins, Melissa Sagar, Samantha Kirsh, Crystal Ferreira and Larry Simmonds. Missing: Peggy McKenzie. Karen Powell photo

Friends raise $30,000 for local man with terminal cancer

Quesnel community comes to aid of Dave Martins and family

Dave Martins is living each day as it comes.

The Quesnel local learned he had Glioblastoma, a terminal form of brain cancer, in December, after he was admitted to Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver and underwent brain surgery.

On Saturday March 3, a group calling themselves “Team Hulio” (Dave’s nickname), spearheaded by a friend of the family, Melissa Sagar, hosted a spaghetti dinner and silent auction at St. Ann’s Parish Hall, to fundraise for Dave and his family.

The event raised close to $30,000.

“It was absolutely amazing the people that showed up,” says Dave’s wife Laura.

“High school buddies that he hasn’t seen in years…”

“… my hockey community, my soccer community, my college and high school communities… everybody was there,” Dave continues.

Dave recently finished radiation and chemotherapy treatments in Prince George, which enabled him to be able to speak and write again – the brain tumour had affected his speech centre, so for weeks he was not able to speak.

“Shortly after my surgery, I took speech therapy. I had aphasia, which means I couldn’t get a lot of words out.”

They were there on the tip of his tongue, Dave says, but he just couldn’t speak them.

“We came back to Quesnel, had Christmas with the family, but I was still having trouble speaking. I started my treatments [in PG] and about three weeks into it, my speech and writing came back.”

Dave was able to attend the fundraising party, and have the ability to express his thanks to his many generous friends and supporters.

“This money will go to help my family,” says Dave.

“We are going to make memories for our family; we are going to go on a trip,” says Laura.

“We need to use the time that we have and we are going to ride this good wave we have going on as long as we can.”

The couple have an almost-eight-year-old and a nine-year-0ld with special needs. Laura says the children are doing really well, considering all that’s happening.

“Right from the beginning, my philosophy has been to live life to the fullest,” says Dave.

The funds raised at the spaghetti dinner are sure to enable him and his family to do just that, in the time he has left.

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