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Victoria Martin loses her battle with cancer
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Jerald Martin sat in his backyard last week as his two children tossed around the Nerf football.

Lucky, the family pet, stood nearby underneath the comforts of the patio.

The black Labrador mix had been left for dead while locked away for a week or so without food or water in an abandoned barn in Stockton years ago.

Jerald, or Jerry, had not only rescued the dog but given it a home and a name.

“That’s why we call him Lucky,” he said last Wednesday.

Jerry Martin, however, was feeling less than fortunate.

After a long struggle with cancer – Lymphoma – Victoria, his wife, was losing her battle with cancer.

She had just celebrated her 34th birthday, which, incidentally, coincided with their 18th wedding anniversary. But they had been together for 20 years.

Jerald, or Jerry, was 16 and Victoria was 13. They wedded three years later.

“People didn’t give our marriage much of a chance,” he said.

The Martins proved them wrong. They not only endured but had a renewal of vows wedding ceremony a few months ago thanks to McParland School’s Parent Club and staff.

Sadly, Victoria, the longtime yard supervisor at McParland, passed away Monday.

 Jerry mourns the loss of his best friend and soul mate.

Gerald, 12, and Delicia, 11, the Martins’ two children, suffer the loss of their mother.

Other family members such as Virginia and Shiloh Dutra endure the loss of a daughter and sister, respectively.

The Martin house on Privet Place is adorned with photographs and memories of Victoria Martin. The large one in the living room is that of Jerry and Victoria taken when they renewed their vows.

The photo is accompanied by an inscription, reading, “Home – Where laughter is shared & where memories begin.”

That home was the Martins’ second one in recent years. They had lost nearly everything from a fire to the previous house.

 Jerry Martin had to deal with his own health issues. In 2005, he suffered from neurological disorder, Guillian-Barre syndrome, and he has since been on disability.

Victoria, Jerry recalled, helped him get back on his feet, literally, as he had to learn, again, how to walk and talk.

During her nearly seven years of battling cancer, Jerry was at his wife’s side.

Since Easter, Victoria was in and out of hospitals. Included were Sutter-Tracy, Kaiser, Doctors Hospital-Manteca, St. Joseph’s Medical Center-Stockton, St. Teresa Cancer Center, Stanford and UC Davis Medical Center-Sacramento.

Last week, Victoria Martin came home under hospice care for one last time.

“It comes with great sadness that I sent this email to let all of you know that Victoria Martin has finally ended her very long battle with cancer this morning,” said her extended family from McParland School.

Local businesses along with friends and members of the family are stepping to help the family in these rather difficult times.

A benefit dinner is planned for Monday, May 24, at Papa Joe’s BBQ, 128 E. Alameda St. Cost is $15 (meal includes barbecue chicken and ribs served with beans and salad) with tickets available by contacting Doug at 403-1010 or Ink Addiction at 239-3500.

In addition, financial contributions may be made in care of:  Jerald Martin, Union Bank of California located inside Save Mart, 1431 W. Yosemite Ave. (account number, 6631105480).