Cary Martin Cancer Services Memorial Fund

The first grant from the Cary Martin Memorial Cancer Services Fund was given to the American Cancer Society in 2015.  Pictured l to r:  Arlan Martin, father of Cary Martin; Brenda Miller, Sr Director of Estate & Gift Planning, American Cancer Society; Scott Witzig,, Executive Director, Morton Community Foundation.

The first grant from the Cary Martin Memorial Cancer Services Fund was given to the American Cancer Society in 2015.  Pictured l to r:  Arlan Martin, father of Cary Martin; Brenda Miller, Sr Director of Estate & Gift Planning, American Cancer Society; Scott Witzig,, Executive Director, Morton Community Foundation.

This fund was started in September of 2013 by Dirk Roecker, a classmate and close friend to Cary Martin.  The fund will be used to provide services to families in the Morton area who have a family member diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment.  The American Cancer Society, via their Patient Navigation Services™ program, will use the funds to provide transportation, lodging and/or other needed services for the cancer patient and their caregivers.
Cary Martin

Cary Martin

Cary, son of Lila and Arlan Martin, spent his childhood in Morton.  He attended Lincoln Elementary School, Morton Junior High and graduated from Morton High School in 1983.  While in high school, he played basketball but most of all enjoyed socializing with his classmates.  He was known by all and a true friend to many.  Following high school he attended Illinois State University and graduated with a B.S. in Applied Computer Science.  He put his education to good use and had a very successful career in the computer software industry.

Unexpectedly in 2006, Cary was diagnosed with cancer in his left lung with metastic spreading to his lymph nodes, liver and various bones.  The cancer was classified as Stage IV before a treatment plan could begin.  Cary had never been a smoker so it was difficult to understand and very devastating to his family and friends.

Cary, being the optimistic, smiling person that he was, didn’t let it get him down.  Through the Caring Bridge website shared photos of his treatments and challenged all of his friends to a “14 day challenge” that offered a positive change in each one’s life, including daily exercise, food intake changes, along with Nano-Greens and multi-vitamins.  He influenced over 200 people to commit to the challenge.

Cary was living in Stilwell, KS, with his wife and two children, and received medical care from the University of Kansas Cancer Center.  The treatment and care was outstanding from the KU center and from his family, as well as other neighbors and friends.  After nearly a year and a half of treatment, Cary at the age of 43 completed the fight and entered Heaven in 2008.  He had the heart of a servant and would want to see others who are battling cancer be helped by this fund to make their experience a little easier.

In September, 2013, long-time friend, and Morton High School classmate, Dirk Roecker decided to start the Cary S. Martin Cancer Services Memorial Fund, in Cary's memory. The fund was kicked off at the 30th Class Reunion of the MHS Class of '83. Dirk challenged other friends and classmates of Cary to donate to this fund, which will provide funding to the American Cancer Society's "Patient Navigation Services" program, to support other families from the Morton area who are dealing with the battle of cancer.

Through the American Cancer Society, families can: Find the answers to question about their specific cancer and treatments; Receive help with transportation to their cancer treatments; Get help with a place to stay at a reduced rate if treatments are needed far from home; Get support figuring out their medical bills and insurance; Receive free wigs and hats in styles they can choose; Get free classes on how to deal with side effects during cancer treatment; Help to explain and find a clinical trial; Receive resources for the caregiver; Receive answers for their prescription questions; Get advice on ways to deal with your medical costs if they don't have insurance; and help with many other issues. For more information, call 800-227-2345,

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to this endowment fund, please click the button below for online donations.  Be sure to designate the Cary Martin Memorial Cancer Services Fund.  Or, you can mail a check to 105 E. Jefferson Street, Morton, IL 61550.