Elizabeth Martinez

Elizabeth Martinez

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I have been an Oncology Nurse Navigator at Hackensack Meridian Health – Southern Ocean Medical Center since August 2011. Soon after starting in my role, I had the opportunity of meeting David Caldarella and learning about David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation. In working with his organization, I began to see how his organization was making an impact on people’s lives who were battling cancer through the financial grants and support that his organization provided. In 2013, I experienced that support on a personal level when my father was diagnosed with Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer. My father lived five hours away in Pennsylvania on his dream 11 acre farm with sheep, chickens, ducks, barn cats, as well as the wildlife that adopted him. One morning he was driving to the hospital to have his central line placed for his upcoming chemotherapy but unfortunately he was involved in a motor vehicle accident with a farm tractor and had to be helicoptered to the nearest hospital for emergency surgery. My sister and I drove to Pennsylvania and when we walked into the intensive care unit to see our father intubated and the surgeon telling us the severity of his injuries, we did not know if he would live or die. We wanted to be able to focus on our father but we also realized that the farm and the animals needed to be cared for. The hospital was an hour drive one way. We quickly reviewed my father’s bills and needs for the farm. I reached out to David to see if he had funding to help my father and he did. I sent him some bills which he covered through his Foundation which allowed my sister and I some breathing room to know that we could order feed and hay for the animals to get us started and make sure that there were no other bills at that moment that needed to be paid. That allowed us the time to focus on our dad and his healing without that heavy burden getting in the way of that. After David paid the bills, I whispered in my dad’s ear that David had paid some of his bills and the animals had their feed so he did not have to worry. My father opened his eyes wide and then a tear gently rolled down his face. David’s Dream & Believe provides those financial grants and an additional layer of support that is truly priceless and not only have I had the privilege of witnessing that with my patients but also as a caregiver for my father.

David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation
364 North Main Street, Suite 10D
Manahawkin, NJ 08050
(609) 489-0011