Support our #WarriorMom April Martinich!


Author: Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter

A Spokane Valley woman who's an amateur cage fighter is hoping mixed martial arts will help her successfully battle the beginnings of what could be cervical cancer.

April Martinich's grandmother couldn't afford to pay for jiu-jitsu lessons, so when April was 15 she offered to sweep floors and clean the studio's windows in exchange for her martial arts training.

Now, she's putting those same skills to work as she tries to fight off would could be a deadly disease.

April is a Target sales associate by day, a single mother by night, and yet she somehow still finds time to train for mixed marshal arts (MMA) fighting.

“It's like yeah, I go to work and then I pick up the kids from day care and we have our little after school, get homework done, get that snack in, but it's something we can do together,” April said.

That's because at April's gym, kids and their parents are welcome to attend the MMA Warrior Camp. It's a gym for those looking to get into shape, and a launch pad for fighters who want to compete.

“I think it would be phenomenal for her to get paid for what she does, and if you watch the video you'll see that she should get paid one day for the show she puts on,” said Warrior Camp coach, Joel Thomas.

When April won her last fight, her coach didn't know that she had just learned she may be developing cervical cancer, and delayed her surgery so she could compete in the cage.

"It was a hard pill to swallow to know that, oh great, I'm finally so close but now because of this stupid procedure, it's going to take me a few steps back,” April said.

She fought anyway, besting her opponent and now, with another victory under her belt, ready to battle a disease that's touched other women in her family.

“So it was really important to me. Like I need to know I can really do this, and if I can win this, what's a silly procedure going to do?” April said.

Coach Thomas said he hopes her procedure will show that early detection won the day. He thinks her determination to keep fighting will speed up her recovery.

I want to get better so I can get back in there,” April said. “You know that drive and that want to be back in here I think is going to help with everything dramatically.”

April's appointment with the surgeon is set for October 23. She says she will be pursuing her online degree in business management while she recovers from the procedure.

Warrior Camp

5027 E Trent Ave,

Spokane, WA 99212

Phone. 754-444-2243