SANDUSKY, Ohio — As Maria's Field of Hope is beginning to bloom, the founders of Prayers for Maria, Megan and Ed McNamara, said their phones are ringing off the hook and the organization is receiving national attention.
“Maria’s Field of Hope is becoming quite a destination for people. Our phone rings off the hook at the office,” Megan said. “This has become a special, meaningful place to so many people for so many reasons.”
The original field, located at 34925 Chester Road in Avon, has been an anchor of inspiration for cancer survivors and their families. It was started by the McNamara family who lost their 7-year-old daughter Maria after she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive tumor called diffused intrinsic pontine glioma.
Since her death, the McNamara family has set up the Prayers for Maria organization to help fund childhood cancer research and to continue her legacy that she left behind.
The national attention might have something to do with their partnership with Cedar Point.
Cedar Point and Prayers For Maria partnered together to bring the popular field to a second location in Sandusky. On June 5, the organization celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony. That field is currently in bloom.
“It’s been very meaningful and really giving us a bigger platform and expanding our message in a lot of ways so we’re very grateful for that partnership with Cedar Point,” Megan McNamara said.
The fields are beautiful, but they’re more than just a good place for a photoshoot.
“It’s more than just a sunflower field,” Megan McNamara said. “It’s a place of reflection, it’s a place of celebration, it’s a place of joy, it’s a place of mourning. And it’s just become a place that’s touched the hearts of so many people.”
The awareness the national attention brings is good for attendance numbers, which in turn is helping their cause.
“All of the money that we raise we try to put 100 percent towards childhood brain tumor research. I mean the children is really why we’re doing this,” Ed McNamara said. “We want to create awareness, but we’re creating awareness so that more people will donate so that we can put more money towards childhood brain tumor research. At the end of the day, that’s our goal, we want to fund a cure and we’re not gonna stop until we do.”
To learn more about Prayers for Maria, click here.