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Max Gilpin’s name will not be forgotten, event organizers say 10 years later

Updated: Aug. 5, 2018 at 12:42 AM EDT
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Michele Crockett, along with Norton Children's, organizes the Splash 'n Dash in honor of her...
Michele Crockett, along with Norton Children's, organizes the Splash 'n Dash in honor of her son. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The Splash 'n Dash in Waterfront Park. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The Splash 'n Dash in Waterfront Park. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Michele Crockett has dedicated the past 10 years of her life educating the public on heat-related illnesses. Crockett's son Max Gilpin died in 2008 when he suffered a heat stroke at football practice.

The case caught the attention of the community and the courts as his coach faced criminal charges. Jason Stinson was found not guilty of wanton endangerment and reckless homicide.

Crockett promised her son's death would not be in vain.

"The doctor came out and talked to us, and my question was, 'Will he be able to play football again?'," Crockett said.

She knew very little about the seriousness of heat-related illnesses 10 years ago, Crockett said.

"His organs started to shut down, and that's what happened over the course of three days."

Gilpin was 15 years old and attended Pleasure Ridge Park High School.

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"Ever since this happened 10 years ago to Max, we've had a sports group and a school group with sports that are way more aware of keeping kids healthy and hydrated," Erica Janes, Norton Children's Injury Prevention Coordinator said.

Janes said since his death, she has not seen cases similar.

"It can always happen tomorrow so we want to make sure we don't let our guards down," Janes said.

Crockett's mission has been education.

"We are doing something positive and getting the word out and so hopefully no other family or child has to go through this," Crockett said.

Crockett, along with Norton Children's, organized a run in honor of her son. The 5k has grown into the Splash n' Dash.

"We want to make sure that his name is still in the community and that the community remembers why he passed away," Courtney Gatti, Norton Children's Special Event Manager, said.

The safety of staying hydrated and keeping a cool body temperature is a message the Crockett said she will continue to spread.

"It's been such a help for my personal grief," Crockett said.

There were at least 1200 participants at the splash n dash. The event also raised money for the patients of Norton Children's Hospital.

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