Art Martinez meets LB Ricky Brown on the sideline.
On December 16, 2007, a childhood dream came true when my father Art Martinez stepped on the sidelines of the Oakland Coliseum. Having just lost his vision in his right eye as part of a four-year battle with multiple myeloma cancer, it was the generosity of the Oakland Raiders and Scott Fink that made my father feel like a kid again. It was also on this day that a lifelong friendship would be made.
As I wheeled my father past the Black Hole, several fans stood up and cheered for him as if he was the Raiders star player. My father asked me to wheel him towards the wall and then shook hands with Gorilla Rilla and asked for a picture. My father sat on the sideline and watched the team warm-up as I took hundreds of pictures of him being a kid again.
As we began to leave the field at the end of warm-ups my Father hugged the goal post, turned towards me and with a huge smile said, "I am home."
Before leaving for our seats, my father was able to get his football autographed and meet Ricky Brown.
This moment will forever be in my heart and mind because less than 2 months later my father passed away. Thanks to the generosity and the huge heart shown by the Oakland Raiders, my father left this earth with his dream fulfilled.
As a result of this life changing day, I created the Silver and Black Angel Foundation to promote cancer awareness and create opportunities for children and adults throughout our communities. This day is always in my heart.
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