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Victoria coming home as cancer takes control
pic Jay-Martin1
From left, Jerry Martin and his children, Gerald and Delicia, look at the cherished photograph of Victoria Martin during a happier time. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Every day, hour, minute and every second is precious for Jerry Martin.

That’s the time he has left to spend with his beloved wife of 18 years.

The 36-year-old local resident was just informed that Victoria Martin is losing her battle with cancer. Physicians at St. Joseph Medical Clinic in Stockton told the family that her heart and lung are filled with fluids.

“There’s nothing they can do for her,” Jerry Martin said Tuesday at his Manteca home. “My wife is dying.”

Victoria Martin is scheduled to come home along with hospice care.

For years, she was the yard supervisor at McParland School. On Monday, Martin celebrated both her 34th birthday and wedding anniversary.

The day before that was Mother’s Day. It pains Jerry Martin to even think about the next one, in particular, for the two children, Gerald, 12, and Delicia, 11.

“I really don’t sleep,” he said. “I get maybe two-and-a-half hours. I’m afraid to fall asleep because I might miss the important call from the hospital saying that my wife passed away.”

For months, Jerry and the children have been in and out of various hospitals treating Victoria’s lymphoma.

Since Easter, they’ve been to Sutter-Tracy, Kaiser, Doctors-Manteca, St, Joseph’s, St. Theresa Cancer Center (Stockton), Stanford and UC Davis-Sacramento.

For Jerry Martin, every dollar has gone towards medical expenses, bills, and putting food on the table. Financially and emotionally, he’s drained, worrying what he can do for his wife on that dreadful day.

“All I want is for her to have a little peace of mind,” he said.
Not too long ago, friends of the family held several car washes to help the family in their time of need. Instead, Jerry Martin found his character attacked in an online message.

“Do you know how hurtful it was to read that I was labeled a ‘lowlife’ trying to fatten my pocket by taking advantage of my dying wife?” he said.

Jerry Martin is left wondering if his appearance – he has his fair share of tattoos and piercings – had anything to do with someone making those less-than-flattering remarks.

“I don’t have enemies,” he said.

Nor is he a bum.

“I’m a broken man,” Martin added. “But I’m not asking anything for free.”

He is on permanent disability. Martin suffers from Guillian-Barre syndrome, a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

Jerry Martin, who, at 30, had to learn to walk and talk again thanks to the help of his wife, Victoria.

Not long after that their daughter had to be treated for  the Epstein-Barr virus.

The string of unfortunate events included the Martins’ rental home catching on fire. “We lost everything that Christmas,” Jerry recalled.

 About a year and a half ago, they were forced out of same house since rebuilt after the landlord was forced into foreclosure.

Soon after, Victoria’s health began to fail as cancer took a turn for the worse.

“She’s been our rock,” said Jerry Martin, who now finds himself in dire need of financial support.

It hasn’t been easy for him to ask for handouts. But he does believe in his community.

“As a father and husband, it’s degrading to even ask for help,” he said. “But my back is to the wall – I need help.”

Jerry Martin has been a loving husband. He’s blessed to have his wife as a soul mate and best friend, with their relationship enduring over 20 years.

“I want to give a dying woman peace that everything is going to be OK,” he said.

Contributions can still be made in care of: Jerald Martin, Union Bank of California at Save Mart, 1431 W. Yosemite Ave. (account number, 6631105480).