Our community has experienced a huge loss. On Sept. 30, 2010, Alvaro Gregory Martinez Jr., not yet 16 years old, passed away after a lifelong fight with muscular dystrophy.
Alvaro was active in the Special Olympics and was initially one of the youngest and most determined players on the basketball team. During his first year of play, he refused to wear his leg braces as he dribbled up and down the court. The following year, unable to walk without braces, Alvaro was still determined to keep up with the team. He became the team’s inspiration, the example of how to replace disabilities with abilities. Alvaro had the most beautiful smile you have ever seen. Near the end of the season, he came to practice with a manual he had written, a “How To” of basketball fundamentals. He had moved from player to coach.
Alvaro’s devoted parents, Isela and Alvaro Sr., have been instrumental in working with C-PALS, afterschool programs for those with developmental disabilities and the planning of the Big Wave Wellness Center.
Alvaro inspired many and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Services will be on Wednesday, Oct. 6, in Half Moon Bay, with a viewing held at Miller-Dutra Funeral Home from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a service at 2 p.m. at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church.
To help defray costs of putting Alvaro to rest, please send your donations to the “Alvaro Martinez Jr. Memorial Fund” at the First National Bank at 756 Main Street in Half Moon Bay, 650-726-1766.