As a young cancer survivor myself, our visit to the Prayers from Maria Sunflower Field struck a special chord with me. September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which is the exact time that the sunflowers begin to blossom at the 50-acre field in Avon, Ohio.
A sunflower field this big is a spectacle to see in itself, but knowing the reason behind its creation makes it that much more remarkable.
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Ed and Megan McNamera started the Prayers from Maria – Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation after their 7-year-old daughter, Maria, lost her battle with a rare type of brain cancer. The foundation planted the sunflower field in 2014 to put a spotlight on the lack of funding for childhood cancer. Each September families come from near and far to see the golden field of flowers.
The drive to the field is marked with signs pointing you to your destination. There is a good size parking lot set up for visitors with easy accessibility. Upon entering the field you are greeted with a booth where you can buy merchandise that supports the foundation or give a donation. There are also small wooden donation boxes around the field. However, we were never approached to donate money.
Almost everyone at the field is there with a camera for a photo opportunity, and in fact, there are many professional photographers out with fancy props posing family portraits. You will definitely want to bring your camera along! We were truly touched by the sheer beauty of row after row of sunflowers. It is absolutely stunning.
There are also small stakes with posters that feature a child whose life ended far too soon by cancer. It is an eye-opening and heart-wrenching experience, but at the same time you are surrounded by such splendor. Benches line the outer edges of the field for resting spots. There’s even a small bridge built up off of the ground to give you a higher view of the entire field.
There’s something quite spectacular about the Prayers from Maria Sunflower Field. There is a sense of hope and peace in the magnificence of the flowers. There is no doubt that Maria’s life lives on through this field as she touches hundreds of families each September with her story, her mission and her courage.
Prayers from Maria Sunflower Field – Website
Location: Southwest corner of Jaycox and Chester Road Intersection, Avon, Ohio
Timing: Flowers begin blooming in early September. Plan to visit within the first 3 weeks of September to see the flowers at their best