Beach walk to raise awareness of congenital heart defects

The Cayman community will come together to mark Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week and to pay tribute to the memory of Nolan Evans and Cristiano McKenzie on Sunday at Seven Mile Public Beach.

People of all ages will have the opportunity to walk for a good cause on Sunday at the Heart Warriors and Angels Beach Walk, an event hosted by the families behind Team Cristiano and Team Nolan.

Nolan Evans, also known as Baby Nolan, passed away last year on Jan. 25 at the age of seven months after fighting the effects of congenital heart disease. His parents, Ailian and Sean Evans, have dedicated their lives to preserving his memory and to raising awareness about the scourge of congenital heart defects.

Cristiano McKenzie passed away at age 4 in June 2016 after a protracted battle with heart disease, and like the Evans family, parents Trisha Dilbert and Mario McKenzie want to keep fighting the battle in his honor and to make sure that fewer families will have to experience a similar loss in the future.

That is where the Heart Warriors and Angels Beach Walk comes in. Participants will pay $25 to be a part of the 2K walk, and all proceeds will go to Hart for Hearts and the Cayman Heart Fund.

People are encouraged to wear either a warrior or an angel costume. Prizes will be awarded for the best adult and children’s costume, and raffle prizes and will be available to people who participate on Sunday.

The first 50 participants to register on the day will receive a gift bag.

Several local companies have helped to sponsor the event, and the Evans and McKenzie families hope to host the walk again in the future. The Evans family also hosts KidFest, a summer celebration that is designed to honor Baby Nolan’s birthday. Pedro St. James hosted the first KidFest last June, and the Evans family hopes to stage it again this summer to raise more money to fight congenital heart defects.

The Evans family has raised more than $20,000 through their philanthropic efforts so far.

Registration requests for Sunday’s walk, which begins at 7 a.m., can be emailed to [email protected]

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now