The young daughter of a Fort Drum soldier has been invited to compete in a state pageant this weekend. It will be a chance for her to live her dream and maybe show other children that disabilities won't hold her back. But as our Brian Dwyer tells us, in order for her to take the stage, she needs some help from the North Country community she would be representing.
WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- Like so many little girls, Crystal Martinez loves the Little Mermaid and Cinderella. Like so many mothers, Darlene Martinez would do anything to help her daughter feel like royalty.
"Ever since she was a little girl, I've always treated her as my little princess because that's, you know, how we parents are," Darlene said of Crystal. "She's loved it."
"She hugs me and she kisses me on the forehead at night when I go to sleep," Crystal said about her mother.
Crystal says that gives her sweet dreams. Dreams that have her on stage this Saturday competing for the title of 2014 Miss Junior Pre-Teen Syracuse/Binghamton. It's something she's had to battle for. Crystal has had to receive numerous blood transfusions since birth, has chronic asthma and currently is on medication for a severe form of ADHD. But she fights through and practices her routine every day. She's ready for this.
"I have to model and answer questions," Crystal said.
"I just want to see my daughter's dream become a reality because she's struggled through a whole lot. I just want to see at least one of her dreams come true," Darlene added.
But for that to happen, Crystal needs official sponsors. Darlene is spending every second she can spare trying to find people or businesses that can help. The pageant asks each contestant to try and get eight.
"She'd be pretty much representing the entire North Country," Darlene said. "It's a great opportunity for her and other children like her that have that disability, in order to get them to follow their dreams, never give up on anything."
Darlene promises to set that example as well, saying those phone calls to people won't stop until Crystal is set for Saturday.
If you would like more information on sponsoring Crystal for Saturday's pageant, you're asked to call the pageant director at 1-877-403-6678.