Carlsbad resident Frank Maldonado was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in one of New York’s worst ghettos—Hell’s Kitchen.
Over the years, Maldonado developed severe asthma triggered by exposure to cockroaches. In his teens, he was hospitalized for two years.
At 21, he got married and had a baby girl. One morning he heard his wife screaming. She had found her baby dead. SIDS was blamed—sudden infant death syndrome.
“That really brought me to reality of how much you can love and how much you can lose in a hurry,” said a choked up Maldonado last month at Laguna Riviera Park in Carlsbad.
More recently, Maldonado was dealt another setback— glaucoma. His doctor told him he’d never play tennis again.
“I realized I have tunnel vision and I can hit the ball,” Maldonado said. “I can’t play competitively, but I can work out and play six days a week.”
His lack of vision hasn’t stopped him from accomplishing another major feat—writing a book. Despite having only a ninth-grade education and not being able to see what he types on a computer screen, Maldonado is working on his second book, with the help of his friend Daniel Pastel.
Maldonado’s first book, The Interview, is available on Amazon.com.