LANCASTER – A fundraiser was held at a Lancaster tattoo shop Sunday for a Palmdale boy battling a brain tumor.
Nico Martinez was diagnosed with a brain tumor during the first week of his summer vacation this year. Nico spent the next 30 days in the hospital and endured four surgeries, during a three-week period, to remove the baseball-sized tumor that was wrapped around his brain stem, according to his mother, Erin Mize.
“I was devastated,” Mize said. “And it’s still a tough subject for me, but just to see how good he’s doing is really awesome.”
Despite the trauma of the surgeries, Nico kept his spirits up and managed to smile throughout the process, said his stepfather Demitrius Koumos.
“They actual labeled him the “Modern Marvel” because his first surgery was 18 and a half hours,” Koumos said. “Adults barely survive through that.”
Fortunately, Nico’s parents have insurance to cover the cost of the surgeries. But his aftercare has taken a financial toll on the family, as both his parents are currently unemployed.
On Sunday, Nico’s family got some much needed support from Chimera Body Ink on The BLVD.
“I dedicated the whole entire day to him, which is 50% off tattoos, and 100% goes to Nico and his family for his bills,” said owner Rudy “Doc Ink” Baltier.
Baltier said he was especially moved by Nico’s story because he has a son named Nico.
“I’m really lucky that my son is 100% healthy, so the least I could do is help somebody else,” Baltier said.
Sunday’s event raised $1,582 for Nico’s family. The funds will allow the family to purchase necessary medications, as well as costly vitamins and nutritional drinks that are important to Nico’s recovery.
But Nico’s journey to recover is just beginning, and the family needs your help.
Loved ones have set up a website to allow for public donations to Nico’s family.
To donate, visit www.helpnico.com. The family has also created a video, which chronicles Nico’s story.
View Nico’s story: