NYC Cycling prepares to welcome Cuban disabled Cyclist

Thank you to those of you who have sent in a gift to support Damian.  We are very excited to report that Damian arrives in NY on March 13th so if you see him riding in the park in the coming weeks be sure to give Damian a warm ‘hola, bienvenido a NY’.


Damian’s surgeries are scheduled for April 5th and May 5th and possibly something in early June as well. The surgeries will be performed at no cost at NYU’s Langone Medical Center’s Institute for Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.  The world class team of doctors are also contributing their time. We need to thank the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction for making this all possible. Without NFFR’s help non of this would have been possible.


Damian will also be getting fitted for prosthetics thanks to Achilles International and Hanger Prosthetics.  Hanger Prosthetics will be consulting with Dr. Andy Pruitt who is an expert in fitting elite cyclist’s prosthetics to their bikes. For Damian, who has aspirations to make the 2012 Paralympic Team, being sure is he properly fitted is an important component to making his new prosthetics work they way they need to.


Other cycling  industry donors include: Fuji Bicycles, Hincapie Sports, Louis Garneau, and LeMond Fitness.  Marazul Travel is also assisting with Damian’s Travel.


We are still fundraising for Damian – the cost of his flights, helping with the costs of having a care giver with him post surgeries, living in NY, etc  and then whatever funds are left will be donated to the foundations that have been so key to the support of Damian.


Some minor cycling items still needed for Damian – Look pedals ( we need two pair – one for his track bike), cycling glasses, a great pump, tires, tubes and some more cycling clothing.


If anyone would like to make a gift – we do have a PayPal account set up: TeamDamian2011[at] – all gifts will be accounted for.  Gifts can also be made in his name to Achilles Foundation or the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction.


As for bike items:  Nanci Modica is serving as the chair of TEAM DAMIAN  – you can reach her at modi@10[at]


·        PS you can also meet Damian at the upcoming

BikeSmart! Maximizing Cycling Performance

Location: Loeb Auditorium NYU Langone Medical Center’s Hospital for Joint Diseases

Time: ?7:00AM Saturday, March 19th


Please take a moment to post thank you’s on the FACEBOOK of Damian’s supporters!



Original  Post Below


Nanci Modica of Radical Media was recently featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal for opening up her home to take in a cyclist, Damian Lopez Alphonso, from Cuba while he receives medical attention at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Below is an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal article detailing what happened to Mr. Alphonso:

When he was 13 years old, Mr. Alphonso, a Cuba native, tried to dislodge a kite tangled in some wires with a metal rod; instead 13,000 volts of electricity shot through his body. The pole slammed into his head and melted against his face. Subsequent infections forced the amputation of his arms just below the elbows and his face and body were left badly disfigured.

The NYC cycling community came together to help raise money to help cover some of the cost involved with travel, treatment and post-operative care, but it’s not enough. is helping to lead the local effort to raise funds.

We hope that you will make a donation to help cover Mr. Alphonso’s medical expenses.  Any size donation will help make a difference.  Nanci Modica is acting as Damian’s liaison while he’s here, and has set up a paypal account just for this at teamdamian2011[at]

Ms. Modica met Mr. Alphonso in Cuba during the 2002 Pan Am Masters Cycling Championships. She was astonished to learn that he not only competed, but challenged able-bodied racers for titles.

Click here to read more about Damian’s story at

Click here to read the entire WSJ article: