Teen taekwondo prodigy Isaac Martin is used to winning on the mat. Now he’s ready to win his fight against cancer.


Isaac Martin does a demonstration for his students.

AURORA — Three weeks after the first symptoms of a rare leukemia struck taekwondo prodigy Isaac Martin with the suddenness of a spin kick he never saw coming, the 17-year-old lay in a hospital bed at Children’s Hospital wishing he could be instructing the youngsters who adore him at Stapleton Family Karate.

Beloved for the sweet kindness he has shown them and their parents, Martin was weak and bored earlier this week but comforted by the many cards and gifts that have come to the hospital’s seventh floor, where he is receiving chemotherapy.

“YOU INSPIRE and IMPACT so many people,” said one note with a color picture of two tiny taekwondo students, urging him to “keep up the fight” because they miss him.

Courtesy Martin familyIsaac Martin does a demonstration for his students.

A third-degree black belt phenom who has won 11 gold medals at national taekwondo competitions, Martin was diagnosed on Sept. 28 with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APML). The taekwondo champion and his family welcome the encouragement from his students.

“At this moment I’m kind of feeling better than I was when I came in, but I’m still feeling scared,” Martin said earlier this week. “It’s just a lot to take in, so, a little nervous.”

His mother, Marcella Martin, raised and home-schooled 10 kids, seven of whom were adopted. Isaac is one of the adoptees but Marcella was present at his birth. She has been widowed three times. Her children range from ages 17 to 37.

“Isaac asks every new nurse or doctor that walks in, ‘Am I going to live?’ ” Marcella said. “Or, ‘What are my chances?’ ”

Actually they are good. He is facing eight months of chemotherapy, but his pediatric oncology doctor, Kristen Eisenman, said his form of leukemia is “very treatable and very curable.”

RJ Sangosti, The Denver PostIsaac Martin, 17, a …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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