Daniel Martino, also known by his nickname Tito, is a beloved figure in Athens. Martino was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of Burkitt’s lymphoma in 2020, and is about to undergo her third cycle of chemo.
Martino is a versatile family man and an avid Cleveland Browns fan. Previously a longtime employee of Casa Nueva, 6 W. State St., he called Athens home for several years.
Through Athens and other opportunities, Martino has built close relationships with people who have been with him through this process.
“It kind of started with the word ‘friendship,'” said Jocelyn Probasco, a close friend of Martino. “And then we realized very quickly, he’s just like a real blue guy like someone who has your back in any situation.”
Martino has received overwhelming support from a range of people, which has helped him stay afloat amid the pandemic.
“Knowing Daniel, I think that’s part of the reason why the community rallies so much for him, to the extent that they did,” Probasco said. “I think it’ll just be a huge weight on his shoulders to know that he doesn’t have to worry about some day-to-day expenses… I really hope the community that supports him and comes together, the two of them makes him feel better. to feel loved and that it also brings him some relief when it comes to his expenses.
Although the pandemic took a toll on many people, kindness prevailed when it came to helping Martino. A GoFundMe was created in Martino’s name, and anyone can donate.
“The community as a whole definitely has huge hearts in general,” Martino said. “Things have happened throughout time like giving. I mean this pandemic shows a lot of that with different places and organizations…it just shows you how strong the community is here. So now being the recipient is just mind blowing. I mean, some of the things with GoFundMe – I see someone’s name and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I haven’t talked to that person or seen that person in forever.’
A raffle containing different products from Athens companies and more is being planned for the future.
More things are on the horizon to help Martino, but for now everyone is encouraged to help out if they can. Any form or amount of help is always help, because in times like these, Martino believes it is important to realize that no one is alone and that it is important to come together as a whole.
“Helping Tito, helping anyone like Tito, helping anyone, helps uplift everyone,” said Meredith Jensen, a friend of Martino’s. “It’s not just our man Tito, it’s so many other people in this community who have found themselves between a rock and a hard place with a pandemic surrounding them. When everything seems to be crashing down and falling on you, it’s time to remember that there are other people out there to lift those boulders to you, and we, as other people, need to be able to shoulder the burden for each other. No man is an island.”