Sunday, September 20, 2015

Prayers from Maria Sunflower Field -- Avon, OH



September is nationally recognized as Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Foundations throughout the county hold fundraisers and deck out everything they can in gold to help raise awareness for Childhood Cancer. And for the past two Septembers, a mile long field of sunflowers has cropped up along I-90 West in Avon, Ohio. This mile of sunflowers has a very special meaning and an incredible story.

In 2006, a healthy six-year-old was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor. As Maria McNamara's parents struggled to find answers for their daughter's illness, they found that gliomas were under researched due to a lack of funding. As Maria worsened and became hospitalized due to her illness she continued to astound others through her faith, telling her parents that she was praying for the other children in the hospital.

When Maria passed away in 2007 her parents started the Prayers from Maria Children's Glioma Cancer Foundation. To date Prayers from Maria has raised funding for critical glioma research and has continued to honor Maria and other children who lost their battle to this deadly form of cancer.

After heavy rains in June, volunteers trooped back out to the sunflower field to replant the seeds which had been washed away. The resulting field is a breath taking reminder from I-90.

Here are some views of the sunflowers along I-90...






  


To reach the field for a closer look head to Jaycox Road in Avon, there is plenty of parking available. 


  


Unlike last year paths have been marked throughout the sunflower field to allow you an up close look. The sunflowers are about 3-feet tall, the perfect height for a child to stand next to them.

    
  
      


We took a lot of photos while we were out there, the field is breathtaking. 






     
    
  
  
I tried not to get other people in my photos, there really were a lot of people there. The 16 acre field makes it easy enough to avoid other people. Most of the people we saw had small children, so they were staying more towards the beginning of the paths. 

   
One way to help Prayers from Maria raise money and awareness is to purchase the new HOPE license plate at the BMV. You can find out all of the information on the Ohio BMV website by checking out this link
 


Near the beginning of the field there is a table of volunteers selling awareness items and taking donations. The path behind them leads to a row of memorial signs for children who suffered from a glioma. 


  








If the 16 acre field of sunflowers wasn't incredible enough, we saw at least fifty monarch butterflies. They love the sunflowers just as much as everyone else.


 



The Prayers from Maria Foundation has done an incredible job raising awareness for gliomas and raising money for research which is badly needed for this type of cancer, but the fight isn't over yet. If you're able to check out the sunflower field this week before the sunflowers start to droop, I highly encourage you to make the drive to Avon. If you attend please consider making a donation to the Prayers from Maria Foundation while you're there, I made a donation online, but you can make one at the table of volunteers or by following the texting instructions on signs throughout the field.

If it's not possible for you to visit, please check out the Prayers from Maria website to learn more about how you can help raise awareness, to learn of other events the foundation holds or to make a donation.





No comments:

Post a Comment