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June 24, 2008     Cape Gazette
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June 24, 2008

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" 30 TUESDAY, JUNE 24- THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2008 HEALTH & FITNESS cape Qazette " Latino festival raises nearly $7,000 for woman in need of legs By Kevin Spence Two years ago, Maria Mar- tinez complained to her husband of a persistent, burning fever. Thinking she was coming down with a bad flu, she went to the hospital. A few days later, doc- tors diagnosed a rare, virus- caused disease and had to ampu- tate her leg. Eight days later, they removed part of her other leg. Martinez, 38, lives in Seaford today, but 10 years ago she emi- grated from Mexico. Her two children remain healthy, and Martinez said she learned a valu- able lesson from her tragedy. She said it allows her children to value the gift of life. She also said she's a better, stronger person because of what she went through. La Esperanza, a nonprofit or- ganization committed to helping Sussex County Latinos, and Per- due Farms Inc. jointly hosted a Fair of Hope June 14, to raise money for Martinez. Two prosthetic legs cost $25,000, including physical thera- py and recovery costs, but hun- dreds of Hispanic residents from the area rallied for the cause, raising nearly $4,500. "Right now my hope is that people will be compelled to send donations in her name," said La Esperanza Executive Director Zaida Guaiardo. About a month ago, Guaiardo began a simple raffle when she heard about Martinez's plight, raising nearly $2,000. Then she thought to host an all-day, out- door festival at her agency, which included clowns, Hispanic meat pies, face painting and a chance to win a television. Martinez still needs the re- maining balance for the artificial legs and months of physical ther- apy to follow, but she said she is grateful to both fellow Hispanic immigrants and American-born supporters. "Gracias de apoyar me en esta causa," said Martinez. To donate money or for more in- formation, call Guaiardo at 854- 9262. La Esperanza is located at 216 N. Race St. in Georgetown. KEVIN SPENCE PHOTO HUNDREDS OF SUPPORTERS turned out for a Georgetown benefit for Maria Martinez Saturday, June 14. Shown are (I-r) Lili Kohr, Mrs. Delaware, Martinez and Zaida Guajardo, executive director of La Esperanza. For moil iillonnaltlog please call 1-800-404-7080 or visit HPV is a virus that can cause cervical cancer. Now, there's a vaccine that can protect girls and women ages 9 to 26 from certain types of HPV. It's important to ask your doctor about it. Your daughter may even qualify for a free vaccine. You can't protect her from everything--but this is one way you can help your daughter stay healthy. -Get her the HPV vaccine. TO LEARN MORE screening II 00orl.ife ALL 1-800-464-HELE O cetwe neALT, A, SOCUO_ seewes