A recent golf tournament at Vista Valencia Golf Course raised money in honor of Santa Clarita resident Derick Quintana, who died from a seizure at the age of 25 on Aug. 5, 2021.
The Derick Ryan Quintana Memorial Golf Tournament, which was open to all levels of golfers, will donate its proceeds to the Cameron Boyce Foundation, seeking to cure epilepsy through funding research, education and awareness campaigns.
“The first annual Derick Ryan Quintana Memorial Golf Tournament was a success,” said Quintana’s mother Sallie Boggan after the May 5 event. “It was a beautiful day honoring our son and only child.”
Boggan added that she didn’t have a total dollar amount collected, but that the tournament attracted over 100 golfers, seven sponsors and many donations from various Santa Clarita-based companies.
“We will be hosting the golf tournament every year to honor Derick and to raise money for seizure awareness and education,” Boggan told The Signal. “There will be additional events throughout the year to keep people educated as we navigate through this journey in keeping Derick’s memory alive.”
Quintana had his first seizure at 18 years old, Boggan said. However, doctors never diagnosed him with epilepsy.
“They couldn’t really tell him what was triggering it,” she continued. “They never diagnosed him. They prescribed him Keppra, which is an anti-seizure medicine, but, kind of like any other 25-year-old, he wasn’t even aware that he was having seizures. He never remembered it. So, for him, he’s like, ‘I feel good. I don’t know why I need to take medication.’”
Boggan’s experience with her son drove her to want to help others who might be going through similar frustrations.
“For me, as a parent with an adult child that was having seizures, I just think it’s being really aware how important the medicine is or that they don’t drink,” she said.
She talked about a friend of hers who told her about having seizures when she was in her mid-20s, and that it had been tied to her drinking.
“She was just in her 20s, having a good time, you know, and she started to have seizures from it,” Boggan said. “Because it’s stress, it’s being up all night, it’s the video games. I mean, there’s so many different triggers and factors.”
A week prior to Quintana’s fifth seizure, which took his life, the DMV had removed the restrictions on his driver’s license, which had been placed after his previous seizure. He was excited about that, his mom said, and he was really enjoying his job. He’d been working for a little over a year as a program manager at RAH Industries, an aviation and aerospace company in Valencia.
“Derick was super, super smart and very mature for his age,” Boggan said. “When he was there as a temporary employee, he was actually hired more like in a warehouse position. And this position came available, he interviewed for it, and my understanding is that he did end up getting the position over somebody that had experience just because they liked his attitude and his approach. So, he was able to kind of move from the warehouse to this program manager position fairly quickly.”
The golf tournament in Quintana’s name included other games for participants, a raffle and food from The Habit truck. Quintana’s family and others put the tournament together quickly. It landed on the nine-month anniversary of his death. Boggan and others are already at work on future projects.
For more details about this past event, upcoming events and information about the work Quintana’s family is doing to raise money and awareness to cure epilepsy, go to DerickRyan.com.