I just walked into my apartment after not seeing my kids for almost a week - the longest I've ever been apart from them - and I realized I am numb. I just stood in the shower for an hour not even realizing time was passing, feeling more helpless than ever. But I am NOT helpless. I have 16 thousand people who see what I say, on a daily basis. It is times like these that I am extra grateful for the fact that I have an audience and supporters to spread my message:
I AM BEGGING, PLEADING WITH YOU TO HELP ME. A tragedy has just occurred for the entire ESC family. On Saturday night, as I was literally locking the door to my Art Basel pop-up gallery after having one of the best, most unexpectedly amazing nights ever, while celebrating my birthday, and I was about to head to the airport straight from there at 3:30am so I could fly home to my kids, when I received a devastating call from SOS. I was told that my car, which my assistants Juan and Pedro were borrowing for the week, was in an accident. I thought it was a mistake, they just accidentally pressed the SOS button.
“No big deal”
“I do it all the time”…
Then I called Juan, and no answer. Two minutes later, I received another call and I realized it was not a joke. Thank GOD I had asked the amazing men who had creatively participated at my party to stay and walk me to the Uber because had I received this information while alone at 3:30am in an unfamiliar city I do not think I would have been able to function after just hearing the news I received. At first, they had only found Pedro, and police told me that the driver had fled the scene of the accident – I was in a panic. One of the kind men who was with me at that moment immediately drove me to the roadside on I-95 where the accident occurred.
YOU KNOW THOSE MOMENTS IN LIFE THAT CHANGE YOU FOREVER? THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE. Juan did not flee the scene of the accident. I don’t want to be graphic about this, but Juan's body was propelled over the highway and they had not yet found him when they had called me. My car and the other car were totaled. All 3 people in the vehicles were immediately taken to trauma units. I had to call two women I didn't know - Juan's and Pedro's wives - at 3:30am to deliver news that they had to get on a plane and fly to Miami.
RIP Juan Salazar June 7, 1989 - December 12, 2017. I do not want to share the details.
Pedro, thank God, is awake, but he too has very serious injuries. They both have multiple broken bones and more scary situations as well.
Juan and Pedro are not just my assistants - they are my FAMILY. They are my friends. The people I work with are TEAM ESC. These are the people who have my back and the people I spend the most time with in my life. These two amazing, kind, vibrant, men are always happy and are always reminding me 'no te preocupes' (do not worry). I AM VERY WORRIED but I bet if they could currently speak they'd be telling me the same thing right now. Not only do they help me in my studio with my work, they have helped save me many times in my life. When I was getting divorced, they helped me pack up my whole apartment. When I took my children to Israel for a month this summer, Juan and Pedro built all my furniture and set up my new apartment while I was gone so my kids could have a smooth transition and come home to their 'new' life without the transition being too chaotic for them. They dance with me when I need to dance. In fact, about 30 minutes before the accident, we had just finished filming an impromptu music video at my gallery because Juan and I were dancing and our videographer Ramone brilliantly decided to capture the moment. It was amazing and special and one for the books. Literally 30 minutes later, their lives changed forever.
I kind of feel like I'm in a dream, or rather a nightmare, but I know this is reality.
I NEED YOUR HELP. PLEASE HELP. Juan and Pedro send money back to their families in Cuba to help support them. Juan has a little daughter, my son's age. They both have wives. The holidays are coming up. They are also going to have crazy medical bills, likely more than insurance will cover. I WILL TAKE ANYTHING I CAN GET - any Christmas gifts we can send to Cuba. And donation. Anything.
TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY AND IT IS MOST DEFINITELY THE WORST BIRTHDAY OF MY LIFE. In lieu of wishing me a happy birthday, because I am clearly not happy and I don't give a shit about my birthday, PLEASE HELP ME RAISE MONEY. I now have 16,000 followers. IF EVERY ONE OF YOU WOULD JUST DONATE EVEN $1, I'D RAISE $16,000 WHICH WOULD BE EXTREMELY HELPFUL. I know it is much more annoying to log in to a page and input credit card info than to just write 'happy birthday' in my comments but this is the only thing that will make my birthday even remotely happy. PLEASE HELP. YOU GUYS ARE LIKE FAMILY TOO AND I THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE FOR US EVERYDAY.
I am going to cosult with counsel as to how to disperse the funds but first and foremost the funds will go to Juan's 3 year old daughter in Cuba, and the rest will be split between Juan's wife and Pedro for his medical bills and loss of income.
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