The parents of an 8-year-old Minnesota boy who died from a rare heart disease are honoring their young son’s legacy through an annual hockey tournament.
Quinn Kirsch died unexpectedly in January 2013, shortly before his 9th birthday, MyFox9.com reported. Kirsch had myocarditis, a disease that causes the myocardium— the muscle layer of the heart— to become inflamed, and can progress rapidly to heart failure. It often goes undiagnosed.
On Saturday, hundreds of youth hockey players and supporters gathered at Centennial Lake Park in Edina for the second annual “Quinn Cup,” hosted to raise money for the Myocarditis Foundation. Quinn also would have been preparing for his 11th birthday.
“A lot of people said, ‘Do you really want to do this the week your son passed away?’ We said, of course, because it’s a great distractor and helps us think about something fun like have the little kids out here playing hockey,” Quinn’s father, Kyle Kirsch, told MyFox9.com.
The event raised $15,000 this year for the Myocarditis Foundation, adding to the $14,000 turned in from last year’s tournament.
“Ultimately the money goes to an organization that’s trying to help people make sure they don’t go through what we’re going through,” Kyle told MyFox9.com.
For Quinn’s friends and others who loved and miss him, the tournament offers them a fun way to remember him.
“All his friends are here, kids from school, they love it,” Quinn’s mom, Kelly Kirsch, told the news station.
It was Quinn’s hockey coach looking for a way to honor his player that led to the tournament.
“Hey I got this idea, it feels like Quinn is slipping away from us a little bit, and that had been about six months after he passed, I said I’d love to just find a way to keep him close to us, keep him alive,” Clayton Weiby, Quinn’s coach told MyFox9.com.
The tournament also honored another Edina teen, 14-year-old Timothy Nunn, who died of myocarditis in 2009 while hiking with his Boy Scout Troop.