Rafael Vertiz is our cherished friend here in Miami – a sweeter, more gentle soul simply does not exist on this Earth; in his presence, there is an inexplicable calm that overcomes – for us, crazy unique – rare and beautiful.
He grew up in Lima, Peru, went to Miami Killian Sr. High. 39 years old — his life, 11-year-old son, Rafa Jr.
Rafael’s been diagnosed with ALS [Lou Gehrig’s disease]. The good news is that he’s plugged into the premier ALS clinic in South Florida: the University of Miami’s Kessenich ALS Clinical and Research Center – the bad news is that the symptoms are becoming substantially more pronounced.
There’s a rallyup.com fundraising page for Rafael – a ticket buys you the inspirational peace that you’ve directly helped a man and his son – in the most epic fight of his life; as if this is not bonus enough, the ticket also buys you a chance to win a custom-built 1976 BMW R90/6 [value $17k].
It’s rare to have the privilege to directly positively affect a man’s life as well as his family. Be generous.
Additional backstory, details and complete specs on the bike…
OSYB Rally for Rafa: https://go.rallyup.com/
… in his own words:
“At the beginning of 2016 I started to feel a loss of strength in the fingers of my right hand, which progressed to my left hand after a couple of months. I then started to feel weakness in my legs and a weird shortness of breath. I was not in the best shape, but this felt different – a weird feeling.
On July 16 of 2016 I decided it was time to go to the doctor; if there is a term for describing someone as the opposite to a hypochondriac, that is me – I hate going to the doctor, but I felt like it was time to go.
At the hospital I was in observation for 4 days; while they were trying to diagnose me, one of the doctors told me they were hoping to find AIDS or cancer – “Something worse than cancer and AIDS?” I asked myself. [click this link to learn about ALS –http://www.alsa.org/
That scared me and took it to the next level. At that point I knew I was I real trouble.
On July 19, 2016 I was given the worst news of my life; at first I did not even know what ALS was – I started to do some research on my phone and all could think about was my 11 year old boy.
It’s been almost 4 months and the least I can say IS that it’s been a roller coaster of feelings, good and bad – the bad is obviously trying to deal with the disease that has changed my life, and keeps changing it every day.
The good news is that I have gotten to live first-hand the kindness that humans are capable of – from family to my friends, even strangers that find out and give me a hand or some words of encouragement and hope.
I have decided that I will live my life day by day – enjoying my son, my family and my friends as much as i can.
That’s the way I will go.”