MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami man who was considered to be a ‘miracle’ child will return to his hometown with high hopes for his football team to win the Discover BSC National Championship.

Arturo Martinez, who was once a student and athlete at Belen Jesuit in Miami, faced a horrific battle with cancer.

After the removal of a lump between his jaw line and left ear in the ninth grade, Martinez was told that he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Stage 4, according to the Miami Herald.

The cancer had taken over Martinez’s body, including his groin, armpits and neck; but all he wanted to know was if he could still play basketball.

Martinez went through a routine of chemotherapy and radiation and six years later, the now healthy 20-year-old is now apart of the undefeated Notre Dame football team which will play in Monday’s BCS National Championship Game at Sun Life Stadium.

Sporting number 86, the six-foot-four, 250-pounder will warm up with the rest of his teammates but won’t be playing.   However, Martinez isn’t complaining.

“I’ll look up and see an ocean of people for the national championship game in my own backyard. And I’ll be thinking, ‘I used to sit in those stands’,” Martinez told the paper. “That’s really cool.’’

Martinez added that there’s always next year to fulfill his dream of getting in a game.

Should Notre Dame win the national title, Martinez will have earned another coveted honor.

“Hopefully I get that championship ring,’’ he told the paper. “I’m thinking about wearing it for accounting interviews.’’

The Miami Herald has contributed to this report.


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