11-Year-Old Dallas Cancer Warrior Edges Out Mark Cuban for ‘Person of the Year' Honors

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban may have lost the battle for People Newspapers' "Person of the Year" this year, but he's already started banking points for next year with a recent charitable donation to the winner's cancer fund.

Cuban and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins were among those nominated for the honor, but readers said they were no match for Isabelle "Izzy" Martin, an 11-year-old Dallas girl/cancer warrior who has been fighting osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, for the last 22 months.

Behind a beautiful, bright ballerina’s smile is a warrior, mightier than most.

“It has been tough, but I have a great support group. My family is amazing and they've always been there for me, so I am very thankful for them,” Martin said.

Izzy said her story has been unique and that her cancer battle is certainly part of her story.

“Maybe the fact that I am so young and dealing with stuff that some people don't even have to deal with?” she said.

But it wasn't just her battle with cancer that helped her crush the competition. Since her diagnosis in February 2020, Izzy has also dedicated time to giving back to the community and has volunteered to help the homeless at Austin Street Center.

She's also been an inspiration for other children battling pediatric cancers, offering these words: “It gets better. It gets easier the more that you learn about what you're going through, the more you connect with others makes it easier.”  

Back to Cuban, who takes no joy in losing yet continues to inspire us all with his words and actions even in the face of defeat.

“Person of the Year. Well deserved! You're just amazing. Such power and grace and strength. Congratulations," Cuban said.

He wasn’t all words, either. Cuban said he is giving $25,000 to Izzy's foundation, Team Izzy’s Osteosarcoma Science Fund.

Contact Us