Amber Martin, 17, Garden Spot student

By on September 3, 2014
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Garden Spot student Amber Martin was diagnosed with grade 4 astrocytoma, a type of cancer of the brain, just after Christmas 2013, when she was 16. She wasn’t expected to live to the spring, so her friends and family threw a special prom for her in January.

But Amber beat the odds, made it through to her real prom and turned 17.

Through it all, she kept a positive attitude, was quick to smile and tried her best to share her unwavering faith with others.

“I’m accepting it,” she said in late July. “I can be angry, or I can choose to find the best in my situation. Anger wasn’t doing anything for me.”

She even planned her own funeral, choosing a variety of purple flowers and a white coffin so her friends can sign it.

She also planned to get a tattoo of a lighthouse, a symbol of her faith, but her rapid decline in August prevented it. Instead, her family printed the design on T-shirts, which they had been selling to raise money to cover Amber’s medical and funeral expenses.

The family also is accepting donations toward Amber’s expenses through an Amber’s Army account established at Susquehanna Bank.

Amber’s condition worsened over the summer, and on Aug. 5 she entered hospice.

“Amber continues to fight,” her mother wrote on Aug. 28, Amber’s 23rd day in hospice care. “She defies all odds and continues to amaze the doctors. No one knows why or how she is still fighting but she is.”

That fight ended Monday, Sept. 1, the first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Her published obituary follows:

Amber Lynne Martin, 17, of New Holland, joined her heavenly and earthly fathers Sept. 1, 2014 at the Hospice center of Mount Joy.

Born on May 2, 1997, she was the daughter of Angela Martin Hurst and the late Jay Martin. She was the step daughter of Randi Hurst. Amber is survived by her sister: Alecia Martin; her step brother: Blake Hurst; and her half brother: Jace Hurst.

Amber attended Garden Spot High School and was working on attaining her GED. Her illness prevented her from attending school. Amber enjoyed Steelers football, driving her PT cruiser (Toby), hanging with her friends and spending quality time with her family.

Amber had a zest for life that was contagious to anyone who met her. She loved the Lord and made sure everyone knew it. Her positive attitude and testimony during her battle has been a positive example to thousands.

Amber was preceded in death by her father: Jay Martin; grandfather: Harvey McCardell; and great-grandfathers: Irvin Martin and Robert Myer.

Friends and family are respectfully invited to attend Amber’s services on Friday, Sept. 5 at 10 a.m. at Petra Christian Fellowship, 565 Airport Road, New Holland. Burial will be in Petra Memorial Park. Public viewing will be held Thursday, Sept. 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the church.

Please help us in honoring Amber’s life and legacy by wearing either purple or black, her favorite colors.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made for medical and funeral expenses to Amber’s Army at any Susquehanna Bank or mail to P.O. Box 575, 3433 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA 17534. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to The Illene Malloy Memorial Foundation, 873 Hidden Hollow Drive, Gap, PA 17527 or Hospice of Lancaster County, P. O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604.

The Groff-High Funeral Home, New Holland is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be posted at groffeckenroth.com.

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