‘Nine Lives Man’ keeps beating the odds


RIO RANCHO — Matthew Martinez has spent the past 21 years in and out of hospitals, beating the diagnoses that told him he would not survive another year.

The 47-year-old moves stiffly from the remnants of his medical conditions. His left arm has been turned into a mountainous landscape from a surgically implanted fistula, an artificial tube that provides a passage for treatment of his failing kidneys. His right arm is carved from cancer treatment, showing where cancer cells had to be removed. On the back of his right hand, auburn traces are imprinted on his skin like faded tattoos where his veins were burned from chemotherapy.

He has a shelf of 14 bottles of pills, each medication ranging from $1.25 to $948.

“I have a pharmacy, I tell you,” he says.

Despite the odds and his need for care, Martinez — who grew up in Pecos and now lives in Rio Rancho after residing in Santa Fe for five years —is making the most of the life he has been given with a positive attitude. Continue reading