SANDUSKY, Ohio (WOIO) - Maria McNamara was diagnosed with a terminal glioma at the age of 6.
Her courageous battle came to an end in July 2007 after she passed away when she was just 7-years-old.
The foundation created in her name, Prayers From Maria, is known for its beautiful field of sunflowers in Avon that attracts thousands of people to pray, take pictures, and most of all, help support an important cause.
On Saturday, the foundation remembers Maria on what would have been her 20th birthday.
A post shared on the foundation’s Facebook page stated:
"Today should have been Maria’s 20th Birthday.The quiet sweetness of Maria in this picture is the way we often remember her.
It will be 13 years without her this year, though her presence with us is often felt in quiet and unexpected moments.
She continues to inspire us every day. We hope we make her proud.
Happy Birthday in Heaven Maria. We can’t imagine the joy!🌻"
After her death, her family made it their mission to not let any family go through that pain by creating the foundation to raise funds for children diagnosed with childhood brain tumors.
The vast sunflower field called Maria’s Field of Hope was planted in 2013 in Avon along I-90.
Development in the area jeopardized the sunflower field’s future each year, but continuing donations have kept the sunflowers in place on a year-to-year basis.
Cedar Point partnered with the organization in 2019 to plant a field next to the resort’s Express Hotel.