Buy the Books!

To order a copy, visit:
Para ordenar el libro, visite:


(The Spanish translation, below)

 To order a copy, visit:
Para ordenar el libro, visite:


or Barnes & Noble

Located outside of the United States? 

Visit / Visite  Penguin Group

Or to buy the book directly
from Maruchi Mendez,
send an email to: 

Para ponerse en contacto con Maruchi,
mandele un correo electronico: 

Click here to follow Maruchi
on Facebook!

The JunTos Foundation

Maruchi is the co-founder of
The JunTos Foundation
To learn more about this organization and how you can get involved, visit the website


Miami Herald Herald Article

"Nothing Really Makes it Better"

By: Christina De Nicola

Miami Herald Sports Writer

Sept. 13, 2012

How much is the life of a college athlete worth?

That is the question Maruchi Mendez has been asking ever since her son, Ramiro “Toti” Mendez, passed away on April 2, 2000.

Toti was Miami-Dade County’s 1998 Class 4A-1A Baseball Player of the Year out of Miami Westminster Christian and an all-American at FIU. His life was cut short at 20 during his sophomore year by a condition known as sudden cardiac death (SCD), which was caused by undetected cardiomy-opathy.

Read more here: here to read the entire article

Click here to read the entire article




Contact: Shannon Donnelly, 


ST. LOUIS, MO — Finding Home:  A Memoir of a Mother’s Undying Love and an Unknown Secret, is a mother’s letter to a remarkable son who left her too soon.  It is the true story of Ramiro “Toti” Mendez, an All-American college baseball player who starred at Florida International University and Miami’s Westminster Christian High School.

This honest memoir is also about untold secrets.  Maruchi Mendez never had the chance to explain to Toti about his birth.  Toti was born in Asturias, Spain, and illegally adopted by Maruchi and her husband Ramiro, who brought him into the United States.

“How much is the life of a college athlete worth?”  Mendez asks.  “Who is watching out for them?”  Every year, the college scouting system monitors performance, speed, and GPA’s but it fails to do the same when it comes to their health.  Meanwhile, athletes continue to drop dead in tracks and fields by the hundreds across the country.  The strides Mendez has achieved in her son’s name are marked by memories and tears.  But they reinforce a mother’s love each day and her resolve to tell his story to the world.

Maruchi Mendez lives with her family in Miami, Florida, and is a co-founder of JunTos Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help young patients and their families who fall victim to terminal or life-threatening illnesses.


Author Contact Info: Maruchi Mendez |  


Finding Home: A Memoir of a Mother’s Undying Love and an Untold Secret
by Maruchi Méndez, ISBN: 9781935806301, softcover 6 x 9, 272 pages, $16.95



JunTos, The power of family and friends. An interview with Maruchi Mendez 

By: Andrew Miles
Miami Everyday People

Read the entire interview here on


Keeping Alive the Memory Of Juanchi and Toti


Juanchi and Toti were young, energetic baseball players who were part of the Elite Baseball community of Miami-Dade County.  Their lives were dedicated to the sport, studies, family, friends, and community.  

On October 24th, 1998, Juanchi de la Rua succumbed to his 14 month battle with bone cancer. Nothing could be done to save him.  Two years later, On April 2nd, 2000; Toti Mendez, who had been diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, died instantly of cardiac sudden death, the silent killer that strikes without warning.   

These two killers strike without discrimination, leaving behind profound devastation. Toti and Juanchi’s families and friends have come together hoping to make a difference. JunTos –together- we can help others. Much work and medical research lies ahead in order to find the cure and prevent the death of young and old alike. also, addressing the needs of the victims and their families is a costly mission and JunTos aims to help these victims of a life threatening illnesses and their families throughout this process.   Juanchi and Toti laughed and played together; studied together; and even in death they are brought together. Their death is a constant reminder and inspiration to those who keep their memory alive.  JunTos  we can make a difference. TOGETHER we can fight back. 




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