Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Andrew Culbreath, Hempstead

A good thing to do in May is to join the McNamee family at our annual 5k Mother’s Day run. The run is named after my aunt, Elizabeth T. McNamee, who died in 1998 from a heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). According to the Mayo Clinic, HCM is the most common cause of heart-related sudden death in America’s youth. The Elizabeth T. McNamee Memorial Fund was created by my grandma, Maria McNamee, to raise funds and awareness for our communities and for health care professionals to figure out how to detect HCM early.

I never met my aunt, but my parents say that she would have loved me. Since Elizabeth’s death, my family and their friends have continued to keep her memory alive with this run and fun run/walk. We are going onto our 19th event, and it has only rained once. I have run the past three years. There are many community sponsors. If you want to learn more about Elizabeth and HCM, you can go to the website: This year’s run is on May 14.