Former San Angelo Central High School football player Torren Martinez battled leukemia, and she had an idea of how to help others facing similar challenges.
The 2020 Central graduate is a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She and her mother, Rickie, have been staying at Ronald McDonald House while Torren receives treatment.
“Raise Love for the Ronald McDonald House of San Antonio in Honor of Torren Martinez” will be an annual event centered around the Lady Cats Alumni Football Game each year.
The 2021 Lady Cats Alumni Game will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 11 at Old Bobcat Stadium. The Central Boys alumni game will follow at 4 p.m.
Central Women’s Soccer Head Coach Ben Henry explained how this fundraising event came about.
“The club’s football team did a great job and organized a fundraiser for her and her family,” Henry said. “And (the Lady Cats) sent him stuff, and a lot of people did. So maybe I was thinking of something different to help others too in this kind of situation.
“When I went to Galveston for the TASCO (Texas Association of Soccer Coaches) clinic, I had the opportunity to pass by San Antonio and see her there in the hospital. And I just asked her: “If you could do anything to raise money for him under the circumstances, what would it be? And that’s when she told me she was going to do Ronald McDonald House.”
Henry jumped at the chance to honor Martinez in a way that helps others in need.
“There’s nothing worse than going through this in the first place, but not really knowing where you’re going to stay,” the Central girls’ coach said. “It all adds up financially with gas and travel. (Ronald McDonald Manor) is just a phenomenal association and organization, and I can’t say enough about it.”
Henry said it was early September when Martinez first contacted him and told him she was exercising but hadn’t been feeling well for some time.
“So they put her through some tests and they found out she had acute B-cell leukemia,” the Lady Cats coach said. “It was pretty crazy because it just started and then before you knew it she was immediately in the hospital there in San Antonio and started treatment and went through chemotherapy.
“She had a few little bumps along the way. She’s still there now. She got a big dose on Monday.”
Martinez is being treated at San Antonio University Hospital. Her former trainer said: “They obviously take very good care of her.”
Torren’s father, Efren, works for the San Angelo Independent School District and travels to San Antonio as often as he can to be with his daughter.
Central’s boys and girls football teams are like one big family, so naturally Bobcats head coach Tony Vu asked his players’ parents to support a good cause as well.
“People can donate when they come in. We’ll see what we can get for (Ronald McDonald Mansion),” Henry said.
Torren also competed in track and field at Central.
Future social media updates can be found on Twitter at @SALadyCatSoccer or on Facebook under “San Angelo Central Lady Cat Soccer”.
This article originally appeared on the San Angelo Standard-Times: Torren Martinez of San Angelo helps others while battling leukemia