Pictured above: Habitat Homebuyer Martha holds back tears at the groundbreaking of her future home.
Meet Martha and her daughter.
A cancer survivor and New Braunfels native, Martha is the definition of a warrior and a fighter. Her fight began after a trip to the hospital following a hard fall on a rainy day at the age of 19 years old.
"I went in (to the hospital) on a Monday and they said I had a tumor. I went into the office and they said, 'you're having emergency surgery tomorrow.' I had a partial hysterectomy... two weeks later I got a call and they said, 'You need to come into the office.' I thought they were calling to release me," Martha said.
"They told me that I was diagnosed with cancer. Stage one, so it was early... I was going to have to start chemo(therapy) immediately," Martha said, "So my little grapefruit tumor ended up being a legal-sized football."
In addition to the information Martha had already been told by her doctors, she found out that her 12-pound tumor had twisted and detached.
"I was already getting gangrene in my leg. They (the doctors) said that if I had gone (to the hospital) two weeks later, they would've had to remove my leg."
Martha went through months of chemotherapy to treat her cancer.
"I lost all my hair, lost my taste buds. Everything," Martha explained.
Because of the chemotherapy, Martha was left with less than a 10% chance of having a baby.
"I was going through a hard time in my life and started going down the wrong path. A friend of mine at work talked about going to this church retreat and said that she really didn't want to go by herself. That retreat just kind of saved me."
Martha explained that at the retreat, they had a night where everyone put in "Prayer Petitions" and all of the church retreats throughout the world set aside a night to pray for each person. Martha put in her prayer petition that she wanted to become a mother.
A few months after this prayer retreat, Martha became pregnant with her daughter, Mariah. After a troublesome pregnancy, Mariah (now five years old) arrived into the world a month earlier than planned.
"The best thing about it is when we went to this (church) retreat, we left on a Thursday, October 18th... my due date was October 18th," Martha laughed. "It was exactly a year after (the church retreat) but Mariah was born a month early. I would've had her on the day that we left to our retreat."
Martha readily admits that her daughter is her world.
"We fight like grown-ups because she's so advanced and intelligent... at the same time we laugh and joke. I always tell her, 'I still can't believe you're mine,' and (Mariah) says, 'yep! God chose me for you!'"
Martha's family is a major support system for both her and Mariah. Martha and Mariah currently share a bedroom and bathroom in Martha's parent's home.
She was encouraged to apply to the Habitat Homebuyer Program by some friends and the partnership was a fit. Martha was recently given an estimated start-date of Autumn 2017 to the beginning of construction on her future home.
"Mariah deserves to have a home," Martha explains. "I've always wanted to be a homeowner."
When asked what rooms they're both looking forward to the most in their future home, Mariah said she's most looking forward to having her own room for sleepovers with her friends, and Martha said she's looking forward to having a bathroom to herself.
Martha is looking forward to having her family come over to her home once it's complete, and wants her priest from her local church to bless the house.
"I'll probably just cry and hold Mariah," Martha said, "God always has a plan for everybody. This is just a blessing and I'm so thankful."