A mother honors her son during the Gasparilla Distance Classic

4:48 PM, Feb 23, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A mother honored her son for the tenth time during the Gasparilla Distance Classic.

Ciana Hamiliton walks the 5K for her 34-year-old son, Jimmy Hamilton. He died ten years ago while running his favorite race, the Gasparilla 15K. 

"I don't want Jimmy to ever be forgotten and I want him to be loved forever and ever," said Ciana Hamilton.

She was dressed in a ten-year anniversary t-shirt that read, "Jimmy will always be remembered always and forever." Her family and friends walk with her every year. 

"Ciana is a strong advocate for heart research and prevention, and if one person can be saved from she has gone through and what Jimmy has had to suffer, then it is a great day for everyone," said Ciana's friend, Jeanne Tate.

"There is no place I'd rather be then here," said Cindy Jameson.  "In fact it's my tenth year anniversary with my husband too and we are celebrating it separately but he understands. I knew Jimmy very well and he was the best son in the whole world. He loved his mother so much. He would buy her flowers every holiday, beautiful bouquets, and he called her all the time and he was just the best son."

Doctors determined Hamilton died from hypertrophic cadiomyopathy. Ciana said that means his heart was too big. 

"It was a sudden death and no one had had it before him to our family's knowledge then, and no one has it now either, so far," said Ciana. "We have all been checked with an echocardiogram."   

For the Gasparilla Distance Classic in 2005 -- the year after Hamilton died -- 100 friends of his showed up at the miles marker where he collapsed and started their run there and finished for him.

"It was moving to see so many people then show up for him," said Ciana. "He was so loved then and he still is now. I just do not want anyone to forget my amazing son."   

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