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NHP cadet bravely confronts life-threatening cancer weeks before graduation

Posted at 9:45 PM, Oct 27, 2017

Frankie Martinez has always been competitive. In high school, Martinez was an 800-meter runner and a wrestler.

"I call myself a warrior," Martinez said.

That warrior's spirit inspired Martinez to join the National Guard and enter the academy for Nevada Highway Patrol.

"It was just a calling that I had to do," Martinez said.

But three weeks from graduation, Martinez began feeling monumental pain. At first, he didn't give it a second thought. But it became too severe to ignore.

Martinez lost his appetite and felt a lump in his abdomen. Doctors delivered the diagnosis few 22-year-olds would expect: liver cancer.

The cancer spread through his body. Doctors gave Martinez only months to live without treatment.

"At first, it hit me like a train," Martinez said. "I was honestly thinking my time was running up after they told me that."

His mom, Andrea, has stayed in the hospital day and night, watching her only child undergo chemotherapy around the clock, praying he'll get well.

“I want him a thousand percent healthy," Andrea Martinez said.

Frankie Martinez was supposed to graduate from the academy this past Thursday. Fellow cadets tied a green ribbon around a chair in his honor.

"I feel like I could pull through anything," Martinez said. "I just want to be healthy and go back to the academy, restart and work ten times harder."

Martinez’s mom said her son will survive his cancer of the liver because he has the heart of a lion.

His friends have launched GoFundMe pages to help his family with medical costs. We've attached them here and here.