Martinho becomes the man on campus for Delta Phi Epsilon

Rhys Williams/Staff Writer 

It was a year in the making for senior international relations major, and brother of the Lambda Iota chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity, Diego Martinho to become Campus Man for the Alpha Gamma chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon. The event, which fundraises and supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, got to standing room only by the end as contestants from multiple fraternities on campus in the Graham Center Ballrooms on Monday, Feb. 3.

“There really aren’t that many people who know about Cystic Fibrosis, I didn’t until about a year ago,” Martinho said.

“There is only some 30,000 something people in the US with CF, so when you take that into account, that is not a lot of people compared to the overall population. It is, however, a very serious disease that affects a lot of people, especially kids and it sucks to see kids like that. For example Danny, the kid that is there each year has to take thousands of drugs everyday to survive, it takes a toll on any family. I was talking to his dad backstage about how much it costs, and what it is like dealing with it everyday and I was really moved whenever I spoke with him.”


Jahrel Francis/FIUSM Staff

His reaction to being named Campus Man 2014 was something that took a while to set in.

“It feels amazing,” Martinho said. “At first it didn’t feel real, I thought I had passed out backstage. It hit me now though.”

Martinho admittedly put the contest above some other aspects of his life over the last few weeks.

“Let’s just say I didn’t study for a couple quizzes, an exam – I still did well, I know that for a fact – but a lot of preparation,” Martinho said. “Weeks ahead of time I had everything prepared already. I had been planning on doing this for over a year so mentally I have been prepared for it. I have been going on with an insane amount of trivia about DPhiE and Cystic Fibrosis. I put a lot of my time into it and I think the sisters appreciated that.”

Martinho gave out 65 white roses and red prayer wristbands to some members of the audience, the judges, and Daniel “Danny” Quesada a young man who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis in 2001. Quesada was the star of the show.

According to the Running with Danny Facebook page, “Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting the lungs and digestive system. The disease causes abnormally thick mucus, which results in frequent life threatening respiratory infections and continued hospitalizations. The disease attacks the lungs scarring them each time with different bacteria that the body creates, and the scarring is permanent. There is no reversal of the effects.”

The Great Strides Walk, which happens twice in April, the first time on April 6, will take place at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Key Biscayne. The organization also has it in Miami Gardens on April 26 every year.

“I found out about the runs last year,” Martinho said. “When I decided to run for Campus Man I thought ‘What better way to raise awareness than an actual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation event.’ At first I just wanted to do the walk, then I realized I could actually fundraise and work with this event and like I said before ‘Win or lose, I am going to do it’ and I won. I am still going to do it and I told the other contestants that I better see them there and just because they lost it doesn’t mean that they can’t be around, it doesn’t mean you can’t help the cause.”

Martinho went on to say that he wants 100 people to participate in the walk and to raise $5,000 by the day of the walk. He will be selling shirts so the team looks uniform.

When the rankings came out for money raised on the Sunday event alone Martinho had a clear landslide victory, at least for the day. According to the DestiNATION: Campus Man 2014 page on Facebook, he had raised an impressive $555.81 on Sunday alone.

“I had a page,” Martinho said. “ On the page I fundraised $700 from people all over the world. Business partners of my boss from the Dominican Republic and Italy, my parents and friends from Brazil donated, and I have a friend who donated between $50 and $100 from France.”

The aforementioned shirts took $400 of those dollars to fund in the beginning.

“The money hadn’t caught up yet so I had to put my own money down to cover the shirts and I made $650 from the shirts selling them for $10 a piece. On top of those $700 from, I spread out the money strategically throughout the week because it gave me more points. I raised $170 at Wednesday’s event, at Friday’s event we raised $143 and Sunday was $555 and some change. The grand total was more or less $850 that I raised and I did so in more or less a week and leading up to the walk I did so much better. If I was able to raise that alone, there is no way to tell what joining my organization with Delta Phi Epsilon how much we can raise.” 


Photo by Jahrel Francis/FIUSM 


About the Author

Rhys Williams
: Sports Director, Class of 2016, Physical Education: Coaching (Major), Communication Arts (Minor), Sports Enthusiast with a Focus on Football and Track & Field.

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