After 2-Year Fight, Royalton Cancer Survivor Ready for Next Chapter in Life [VIDEO]
ROYALTON -- After beating leukemia for the second time, Royalton's Lulu Martinez is ready to get back to a normal life.
In February of 2014, WJON covered a Royalton High School basketball game during which students showed their support for Alexis "Lulu" Martinez, a senior who had been diagnosed with leukemia for the second time in her life.
"I thought my life was over," says Martinez, now 20 years old. "I felt really mad because I trusted those doctors [because] they told me I was cured and I'd never have to see them again, but I ended up seeing them again."
Over the next two-plus years, Martinez's battle was followed by over 8,000 supporters on the Luv for Lulu Facebook page.
On Father's Day in 2014, Martinez says she fell into a month-long coma during which she died and was brought back to life.
"She was in the coma for 48 hours and she was on 100 percent life support," says Martinez's mother, Natalie Johnson. "They had to resuscitate her and had to flip her onto her stomach just to buy enough time to try and figure out if they could get her through the night."
"[Doctors] told us to bring her sisters down to say their goodbyes and at that time, we had to tell them how sick their sister really was."
Martinez says she experienced her coma in an out-of-body way -- meaning she could see, hear, and feel her family's presence without being able to respond.
"It was as it [I] was dangling from the ceiling," Martinez says. "That was the hardest part -- when I would hear my sisters and parents crying -- all those emotions they were feeling, I could feel them."
Martinez's mom says there was an 80 percent chance Lulu would be brain-damaged if she woke up -- something the doctors told her was just short of a miracle.
"We just kept praying and whispering in her ear," Johnson says. "The power of prayer -- there's no other reason she [survived]."
Martinez is now cancer-free, and she had the port in her chest removed last week. She and her family say they are ready to get back to a normal life.
"I think this was a blessing in disguise," Martinez says. "Not only did it make us a stronger family unit, but I felt like I found who I was and what I was meant to do on this earth."
"There were so many days where I could've easily [given] up and just lock myself in my room and feel sorry for myself. But that's not going to cure your cancer and that's definitely not going to get you anywhere in life."
Martinez says she plans to enroll at the Regency Beauty Institute in the fall and says in the future, she would like to write a book about her battles with leukemia.