Service Professional Spotlight -- Suzie Martinez

Suzie Martinez

Suzie grew up in Camp Verde and after spending time in Phoenix she decided to move with her three year old daughter, Krista, to Flagstaff in 1995.  It wasn’t long after that Suzie enrolled as a student to study finance and found herself a student worker position in the Biology department.  Suzie completed her Bachelor of Science and was encouraged to apply for a permanent position with the university.  She got the job in 2000 and spent the next ten years with NAU mastering the world of grants….so much so that she was recruited by a private firm.  During this time, Suzie also received her Masters of Science in Management in 2003, with an emphasis in Grants and Contracts from NAU.  Suzie left campus in 2010, but it didn’t take long for her to miss the campus structure, culture and the network of colleagues she left behind. 

A cause that is near and dear to Suzie’s heart is the annual Climb to Conquer Cancer event held in Flagstaff.  Suzie has been leading her team “Suzie’s Sarcoma Busters” every year since 2007.  In 2006, Suzie was diagnosed with a rare (only 200 cases/year in the U.S.) form of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma.  The disease attacked her arm and she proudly displayed her war wound for me.  War wound indeed!  Not only was Suzie fighting the cancer, but her first doctor told her the only option was amputation.  Suzie was determined to take her wellness and healthcare into her own hands, quite literally.  She sought out patient advocates, experts in the field and discovered emerging research that documented other forms of successful treatment besides amputation.  Today Suzie is cancer-free and her left arm is very much intact.  Suzie is a champion and a survivor and it shows every day in her smile, her enthusiasm and her dedicated efforts on campus and beyond – especially every year as she climbs to the top of Snowbowl with her ‘Sarcoma Busters’ crew.

If you haven’t met or reconnected with Suzie yet, I would encourage you to drop by the CHHS and say hello – WELCOME HOME SUZIE!!

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