Ricky Raducha: Racing Scene Icon Needs Your Help

Ricky Raducha: Racing Scene Icon Needs Your Help

If you’ve been to races up and down the East Coast, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Ricky Raducha and his friendly smile (pictured here right of dirt late model ace Ricky Thornton Jr.). Unfortunately, an accident sent him into the hospital — and now he needs your help.

Raducha was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. Complications from the disorder results in him being confined to a wheelchair for mobility. Despite that, he ventures to races often. Raducha winters in Florida and spends the rest of the year in New Britain, Connecticut.

While spending time in Florida in November, however, he flipped in his wheelchair, an incident that sent him to the hospital.

“I still don’t have any idea how the accident happened,” Raducha said. “I took off my shoes and headed in my manual wheelchair to the porch to close the curtains. I popped a wheelie, went over backwards, and woke up a few minutes later on the floor. My leg was all crooked, and I was in huge pain.”

The flip resulted in a 12-day stay and then another 18 days in a rehab facility.

“If I was back home, I would have been in the hospital about three days,” said Raducha. “They did not know much about my disease and wouldn’t listen to me about treatment. They questioned my size, why my leg broke — they didn’t believe me and they would not call my doctors. They refused to give me medication for the pain.”

After being released by the rehab facility, local Floridian racers helped him.

Late model driver George Gorham Jr. and his wife, Melissa, located a hospital bed from another racer at New Smyrna Speedway. They then brought it to Raducha’s home.

“I work hard every day — I do my exercises and build strength so I can keep on going to the races,” Raducha said. “I had a sister with the same affliction. When she stopped working and stayed in bed, she passed.”

Raducha, 66, is on a fixed income. He drives a donated van to tracks in Florida and drives by himself home to Connecticut and back every year. He often sleeps in his van along the way.

“Driving and steering is also exercise for me,” said Raducha. “Today, I’m feeling the strongest I have felt in a couple of years.”

Despite all the medical concerns, it’s the financial concerns that cause Raducha the greatest grief. He said insurance and Medicare paid just under $100,000, leaving him with a balance of $5,100. Raducha said he paid $1,800 of that, but still owes $3,300.

“I have angst and frustration over the bills,” Raducha said. ‘Going to the races is important for me to keep strong. Without racing and seeing all my friends at the tracks, I don’t know what I would do. I would be a mess.”

To help Ricky Raducha, follow this link to his GoFundMe page.