My name is Sonny Marquez. I am the founder and producer of Sandia Mountain Volleyball Classic, a Pro/Am tournament held annually in Albuquerque. The first year, the tournament was held to bring top level 2 on 2 beach volleyball to my home state so local players didn’t have to travel out of state to find stiff competition. In the second year of the tournament, I focused on selling out the event by maximizing team participation, and was able to do so after such a successful tournament the year before.
Shortly after the 2008 tournament I was diagnosed with a Basal Cell Adenocarcinoma of the minor salivary gland, a very rare Cancer of the head and neck. This was the beginning of an eventful and uncertain future for me. After a series of CT scans and a trip to UCLA Medical Center, it was determined I needed surgery to remove a tumor in my nasal cavity, and another to remove a tumor in my lymph nodes. Six weeks of radiation followed. This was one of the most difficult and challenging experiences of my life.
I was diagnosed with cancer in June of 2008, completed my final treatments in October, and went back to work in February. I have had to miss work due to appointments, surgeries, treatments, and the added stress of battling a deadly disease. Many others have to deal with the same issues, and I believe they shouldn’t have to struggle with their finances in the same manner.
In 2009, the 3rd annual Sandia Mountain Volleyball Classic will be dedicated to survivors and those battling cancer. I have teamed up with the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation, a nonprofit organization that serves cancer patients who receive care at their New Mexico centers. The New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation is dedicated to supporting their patients non-medical needs during their battle against cancer. They establish assistance and educational programs to meet the financial, emotional and psychological needs of patients. I hope as a sponsor you join us to help those battle the ultimate battle!