ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque boy’s dying wish was to help other kids in his community and now the community wants to honor him in a big way.
It’s been months since John Romero said goodbye to his son, Martin Romero. On Monday, as he walked through the South Valley League Baseball Field on Isleta near Rio Bravo, he could still hear him running the bases.
“These are the fields that Martin played in,” John said.
It’s a memory that will never fade for John who used to coach the all-star player. Martin had been playing on the fields since he was 6 years old.
If he wasn’t playing, he was cheering on his younger brother, James Romero. This year, his family had to come to the park without him.
In January, at the age of 14, Martin lost his fight with cancer. However, his mom, Cindy Romero, knows that’s not where his story will end.
“He wanted his legacy to live on,” Cindy said.
Martin was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer last fall. It wasn’t long after that The Make-A-Wish Foundation came calling.
“He wanted to sky dive but because of his tumor, they wouldn’t allow that,” Cindy Romero said. “He would have had to get permission from his physicians.”
In January, Martin’s condition got worse. So when Make-A-Wish asked him about his wish again. His mom said Martin told them to donate his wish.
Cindy said Martin wanted to gift the kids who play on the fields that he grew up on.
“He would want it where he spent most of his life at,” James said.
Make-A-Wish donated $2,000 so crews could add improvements to the fields.
John said they added asphalt between each field. That allows grandparents with walkers or parents in wheelchairs and siblings in strollers to come and cheer the kids on.
Martin died before seeing the improvements go into place. A painting of him was added to the park, and this week the Bernalillo County Commission will ask to rename one of the fields after Martin and bring the all-star back home.
“It’s a situation where you can’t even walk up and not shed a tear,” John said. “Just remembering him on the field.”
The proposal to rename the field after Martin will have to get the green-light from the county commission, then it will be up to the County Naming and Memorial Committee.
Martin made the Rio Grande High Baseball team last year before being diagnosed with the brain tumor.