Bucks honor fan Gloria Martinez, who has cystic fibrosis

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Professional sports franchises in Wisconsin have always been great about getting involved in the community. When the Milwaukee Bucks reached out to one of their biggest fans recently, they created a memory that may last a lifetime.

The Milwaukee Bucks fell short of hopes and expectations, but this much is a slam dunk. The good people in the organization are always willing to reach out to try and make a difference.

They did just that for 23-year-old Gloria Martinez. She loves the team, and she is no fair weather fan.

Martinez has dealt with far more adversity in her young life than her favorite basketball team has ever faced on the court. That's why the Bucks invitation to have her as a guest at their final regular season home game earlier this month to celebrate her 23rd birthday brought her so much joy.

Martinez, a Racine native, was born with cystic fibrosis -- a respiratory illness that affects the lungs and the digestive system. Twice a year, she has to be hospitalized for up to two weeks.

Martinez has dealt with her challenge in life gracefully and with the knowledge that she might be able to help someone else going through a similar situation.

Angelina Martinez is Gloria's mother, who has become all too familiar with cystic fibrosis -- having two daughters with the illness.

The Bucks have made an all out commitment to fighting cystic fibrosis with their annual golf outing to raise funds for cystic fibrosis in southeastern Wisconsin. For Vice President of Business Operations John Steinmiller, reaching out never gets old, even after 43 years with the organization.

Gloria Martinez says she can relate to some of the struggles the team has on the court because they keep fighting on the basketball floor, just as she does in life.