Byron Bay chef in bid to help save mate’s life

Sergio Martinez. Photo Eve Jeffery

Story & photo Eve Jeffery

Like two little boys with two little toys, Byron man Sergio Martinez is doing all he can to help his mate Ivan beat the cancer that threatens his life.

A friend that Sergio says is his soulmate, Ivan (left) needs al the help he can get and Sergio plans to give everything he can.

A friend that Sergio says is his soulmate, Ivan (left) needs all the help he can get and Sergio plans to give everything he can.

Sergio and Ivan have been best mates since they were two and even though Sergio has made his life here in Australia he still feels as close to his friend in his native Spain as if he were still next door.

‘My soulmate Ivan has recently been diagnosed with cancer’, says Sergio. ‘It has extended to his pleura, spinal cord, kidneys and vertebrae D4.’ 

Sergio says that Ivan, a professional drummer, is a loving father of a two year old and a devoted husband. ‘Due to his profession, he can not apply for benefits or get any sick pay at all. He can not work at the moment and the whole family relies on one salary only.’

Sergio, who is a chef at the Fig Tree in Byron Bay, has decided to give Ivan a hand with a crowdfunding campaign.

‘I have taken the challenge of a triathlon on the fifth of March in Pottsville’, he says.

‘A two kilometre swim, 90 km on the bicycle and 21 km run to finish the race. I put myself up for the challenge only 19 days prior to the race day.

Sergio Martinez. Photo Eve Jeffery

Sergio is a chef at the Fig Tree restaurant in Byron Bay.

 ‘Although I have never trained for such distances or events, I am pretty fit and I am giving my 100%. We have managed to raise $3422 in a week. I have also been sponsored by True Wheels cycles , the Mullumbimby bicycle shop.

Sergio says he will do whatever he can to help. ‘Our friendship goes way beyond the deepest meaning of the word. We have always been connected in many ways and supported each other throughout rough patches. I love him and his family to bits.’ 

Sergio has every faith that his mate will be fine, it’s just a matter of literally doing the leg work. ‘Ivan, te vas a curar muy pronto. Estamos todos contigo. Te queremos’. (Ivan, you are gonna get well very soon. We are all with you. We love you).

To find more about the crowdfunder, visit:

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