Sally A. Carei-Martinez
The entire Rider University community, especially the department of athletics, was saddened to hear of the passing of former assistant cross country and track & field coach Sally Martinez, whose courageous, nine-year battle with cancer came to an end Friday morning.
Originally from Vineland, New Jersey, Sally was voted the 1980s ‘Runner of the Decade” in South Jersey. For the last nine years, Sally has been running the most challenging race of her life.
She can now rest in peace.
After competing at the University of Houston, Sally moved on to Florida International University, where she received her degree.
Sally was the women’s distance coach at Florida International from 1990 until coming to Rider in 1994. She was the Trans American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year at FIU in 1991, ’92 and ’93.
In 2004 Sally was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant and managed to have surgery and receive chemotherapy. If she had been diagnosed two years earlier she would have had to make a most difficult choice. Research, however, allowed her to not have to make such a choice and give birth to a healthy baby boy who is now a healthy nine year old.
In 2008 she was diagnosed with another form of cancer also in the right breast. Being the competitive fighter she was she was once again given an advanced form of treatment that targeted this particular form of cancer instead of just receiving a generic form of chemotherapy that ‘might’ work.
In 2012 Sally was again battling the dreaded disease, as the cancer moved out of the breast to other organs within her system.
Most recently Sally was contributing to the Rider community in the Counselor Office of the Student Support Services Program.
Sally Martinez was a dedicated and well respected member of the Rider University community for 18 years and will be sadly missed.
If you knew Sally, you are no doubt sad today. But instead you should be happy that you did know her.
Sally did not want any normal type of funeral. She would only accept an 'Irish Wake', a time to celebrate life. No sadness or sorrow would be allowed.
Sally A. Carei-Martinez. A runner, a coach, a mother, a wife, a counselor, and above all, a great example of what courage really is all about.