QUINCY Estelle Martinez, the precocious Quincy girl whose sense of humor and passion for princesses captured the hearts of many, died Tuesday of brain cancer. She was 3.
Last year, Estelle was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor, or AT/RT, which is a very rare, fast-growing tumor of the brain and spinal cord. Her family lived in Texas at the time, but they moved to Quincy so Estelle could get treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital.
In recent weeks, family, friends and strangers have rallied around the Martinez family as Estelle’s condition worsened. Various fundraisers have been started by Team Estelle – the nickname given to Estelle’s group of supporters – to help the family pay for her medical bills and other daily expenses.
On July 26, Estelle was visited by two of her favorite princesses – Anna and Elsa from the animated Disney movie ‘Frozen’ – during a block party in Quincy. The party had a ‘Frozen’ theme, featuring an ice sculpture of snowman Olaf, a full-size sleigh and face painting.
People who knew Estelle described her as a spunky girl who was wise beyond her years. Last month, Estelle’s visiting nurse, Michelle Gouthro of Weymouth, said, ‘I loved her the moment I met her. She’s like 3 going on 23. She’s this little old soul.’ The Martinez family has encouraged anyone who wants to honor Estelle to seek out and donate to charities dedicated to finding a cure for brain tumors and pediatric cancer. Estelle is survived by her mother, Alicia Whalen Martinez, a Rockland native, her father, Patrick, and brother, Jack, 2.