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Fundraiser held for family of machete attack victim who died of cancer

Spencer Lubitz

Fundraiser held for family of machete attack victim who died of cancer

CREATED Sep. 8, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- She survived the brutal attack, but sadly lost her battle with cancer this week.

When Action News first heard Maria del Carmen Gomez's story, she said she had been ambushed by her abusive ex-boyfriend while she was leaving work. She said her ex struck her in the head with a machete, before chopping off both her hands.

Instead of hiding her scars, Maria spoke out about the attack and inspired women across Las Vegas to break the cycle of domestic violence.

Maria died from cancer Wednesday.

A fundraiser was held for Maria's family Friday, to help them pay for funeral expenses.

When domestic violence advocate Rebeca Ferreira first met Maria, she didn't have the use of her hands, but Ferreira encouraged Maria to use her voice and share her story of survival; a story that inspired so many in the Valley, that after Action News' final interview with Maria, she was inundated with well-wishers in the community.

But after a life filled with battles, from the brutal machete attack to fighting cancer, it was time for Maria to finally be at peace.

The man accused of attacking Maria, Armando Vergara-Martinez, has been charged with attempted murder and domestic violence.

He's still in jail on $250,000 bail pending his trial in October.

If you'd like to make a donation to Maria's family, go to any Wells Fargo Bank and reference account number 319-206-1962.