But on June 1, 2010, the teenager’s life was cut short.
“He just collapsed,” Ronnie’s mother, Angie Palcer said. “He appeared an active and healthy teenager. He even played football at Cherokee High School.”
Several months after Ronnie’s death, his mother was told why.
Doctors determined that Ronnie suffered from Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome, a genetic heart condition that can cause sudden death in young, apparently healthy people.
Now, Angie Palcer is working to raise awareness of the condition that kills about 4,000 children, teens and young adults each year.
She has joined the SADS Foundation — a national nonprofit that works to raise awareness of the syndrome and provide resources to patients and victims’ families.
In honor of her son, Angie Palcer has started a fundraising drive.
According to the SADS Foundation website, SADS symptoms include a family history or unexplained deaths of relatives under 40; fainting or seizure during exercise or excitement; and unusual shortness of breath or chest pain during exercise.
The symptoms can be treated and the deaths prevented, according to the foundation.
Angie Palcer’s fundraising efforts kicked off this month with the SADS Foundations annual Climb to Conquer SADS.
For the event, the SADS Foundation enlists mountain climbers across the country to travel to Washington state to scale Mount Rainier, a volcanic mountain southeast of Seattle.
Climbers scale the peak in honor of a SADS victim and place a banner with their name on it at the peak.
This year’s Climb to Conquer SADS was held July 7.
The Palcer family was represented by Washington-based climber Greg Lang.
Though the event has come and gone, Palcer is continuing with her fundraising effort.
“I’m just trying to get the word out there,” she said. “Maybe we can help save another life.”