Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Your personal contribution is needed to build a trust fund for Lupita Hernandez, the Mexican nurse who lost both of her legs at the hip in 2003 in a Carrera accident.

Lupita was standing by an ambulance when a Carrera car hit a pool of oil and slid off the road during a speed stage. Lupita was pinned against the ambulance. Given the massive trauma and loss of blood, no one expected her to survive. But after three weeks in intensive care, she pulled through. Today she remains confined to a wheel chair in a small town outside of Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Since the accident Lupita has been supported by her parents and siblings, and her friends from La Carrera. This support paid for her physical therapy, rehabilitation, continuing education, and opening of a “micro-business.” A generous benefactor also purchased and refurbished a small house for her.

Today we need to build a trust fund for Lupita that will generate enough interest income to support her in poor economic times, as well as good times.

Please help us this Holiday Season. Checks may be sent to:

Friends of Guadalupe Hernandez Ramirez
c/o Ms. Fanny Davila
South Bay Bank
2200 Sepulveda Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90501

The Friends of Lupita would like to thanks Ralph Carungi, Stewart and Linda Robertson, and Kim Watkins, plus others for their recent contributions.

The trustees of Lupita’s account are: Doug Mockett, Oscar Carillo, and Gerie Bledsoe.

The photo above is of Lupita in front of her house. Ocozocoautla, Chiapas, Mexico. 2008.

Thanks for the consideration, and many Happy Holidays!

P.S. The accident that crippled Guadalupe Hernandez Ramirez happened in the second speed stage of the very first day of the Pan Am in 2003, just outside of the starting city, Tuxtla Gutierrez. I remember the morning clearly.
My '64 Chevy Nova had blown its engine during the first speed stage, so my navigator, Mike Goble, and I were standing on the side of the road waiting for our support guy, Logan, to come by and pick us up. After an hour or so, we noticed a medivac helicopter flying low, following the road. In twenty minutes it returned at full speed.
We assumed, of course, that a Carrera car had crashed and someone was badly injured. Later that evening it was reported that a 22 year old Mexican nurse had been killed when a Mustang hit a puddle of oil dropped by another Carrera car. The Mustang, driven by Frank Currie, spun off the road and into a parked ambulance. Two or three people were standing by the ambulance, but only Lupita was struck. A doctor sitting in the driver's seat of the ambulance suffered a broken leg.
Later during the race we learned that the nurse was still alive but not expected to live. But three weeks or so after the event was over, I found out that Lupita had miraculously survived, and our efforts to help her soon began.
Months later we also discovered that, while the emergency workers were tending to Lupita, another Carrera car lost control and almost hit the ambulance again -- a scene caught on video.
I will always remember that sick feeling in my stomach when I watched the helicopter return to Tuxta that morning in October 2003, knowing that someone was seriously injured. It could have been any of the racers, instead it was a young Mexican nurse who had volunteered to help any of us who might be injured. Now, I knew, it was our turn to help her.