Katy Family to Honor Late Son with Annual Fun Run Benefitting Congenital Heart Defect Research
Photo Credit: Mama Bear Photography

Katy Family to Honor Late Son with Annual Fun Run Benefitting Congenital Heart Defect Research

November 29 2023

The Katy community is preparing to lace up their sneakers once again for the 9th Annual Graeme’s Run. Set for February 24, 2024 at No Label Brewery in Katy, this fun run aims to raise funds for critical congenital heart defect (CHD) research in honor of one of Katy’s own, Graeme McDaniel, whose life was tragically cut short by CHDs.

On December 18, 2012, Graeme McDaniel was born with severe congenital heart defects, leading to emergency surgeries and a resilient battle for survival. Despite a relatively happy and normal life, Graeme tragically passed away at the age of 2 1/2 in May 2015. Devastated by their loss, Graeme's parents turned their grief into a powerful mission to raise awareness and funds for Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) research.

Graeme McDaniel (Source: The Graeme McDaniel Foundation)

Discovering that CHDs are the leading birth defect in the United States, affecting nearly one in 100 babies, they founded The Graeme McDaniel Foundation to help others affected by CHDs. The foundation's mission is twofold: to fund CHD research and to support heart families, recognizing the devastating impact of these defects on thousands of children each year.

In their efforts to make a meaningful impact, the foundation focuses on fundraising for CHD research and providing support to heart families, including during their journeys for medical care. They have established strong relationships with local heart centers, contributing to planned research projects and advancing the hard work of these institutions.

Graeme's parents, Robby and Stephanie McDaniel, left, with Diwakar Turaga, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Critical Care Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine. (Source: The Graeme McDaniel Foundation)

As part of their awareness and fundraising initiatives, the foundation organizes Graeme's Run each year. Drawing over 1,700 people in attendance last year, the Graeme McDaniel Foundation raised over $185,000 for CHD research in 2023. Over the last two years, The Graeme McDaniel Foundation has proudly funded $450,000 in congenital heart defect research, with $350,000 of that going to Children's Memorial Hermann and Texas Children's.

“We have been blown away by the support our community has given us through the foundation, and we feel honored to support the heart community in this way,” said Stephanie McDaniel.

Participants enjoying the festivities at Graeme's Run in 2023. (Photo Credit: Mama Bear Photography)

The 9th Annual Graeme's Run will be full of fun activities for everyone, including a run and a 1-mile family walk in Old Katy starting and ending at No Label Brewery. Following the run/walk, participants will enjoy free beer served by No Label, free food, raffles and silent auction, live music, video game trucks, face painting, balloon animals, and more.

For more information about Graeme's Run, please visit graememcdanielfoundation.org/about-the-run. To signup, visit secure.qgiv.com/event/graemesrun2024.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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