Monday 19 May 2008

A Racer in Need

In Thursday's newsletter was a piece about a Mexican cyclist and former national champion, Fausto Esparza Munoz, who was severely injured in a recent race. I am extracting the entire piece from the newsletter and have copied it below so that it receives the widest circulation possible. If you have a blog, you might like to do this as well. Those of us who love cycling could not imagine life without it but for some people this is a tragic reality.

I will be sending a small donation myself and hope that others might do the same.

We've heard cyclists say that in case of a bad accident, they'd rather die than come away from it paralyzed.

Former Mexican national champion Fausto Esparza, 33, is in an El Paso, Texas, intensive care unit without use of his legs after crashing during a high-speed descent in the Tour of The Gila on May 4. The accident, which broke his back and paralyzed him from the waist down, occurred on the race's final stage near Silver City, New Mexico.

Esparza is described by a friend as "very depressed and not sure what to make of this terrible situation." As a pro cyclist he supported his family through bike racing. That source of employment is no longer is available to him. His wife, parents and 3 children are with him at the hospital.

Some North American teams are stepping up to help. Toyota-United announced that its riders and staff have donated $5,000, which consists of prize money earned during the race in which Esparza was injured.

In addition, Toyota-United is auctioning a signed team jersey on eBay, with proceeds going to Esparza. There's a link on the squad's website at

Said Toyota team owner Sean Tucker, "We all agreed to do something for Fausto no matter how small it may be. We want to start the ball rolling in hopes that other teams and fans will follow suit to help him in his time of need."

RBR has mailed a donation. If you'd like to help too, the address is:

Wells Fargo Bank

1201 N. Pope St.

Silver City, NM 88061

Attn: Fausto Esparza Donation Fund

Esparza is expected to be in the hospital for another 7-10 days. Cards and letters can be addressed to:

Patient: Fausto Esparza, ICU/12

C/O Thomason Hospital

4815 Alameda Avenue

El Paso, TX 79905

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