By Chris Mellides
Elijah Insignares loved the outdoors and discovered his passion for music at a young age. A Northport High School graduate, Insignares found the most joy with the school’s environmental team and traveling on senior-year camping trips.
“He loved the camaraderie and he adored the outdoors,” said Elijah’s mother, Maureen, of East Northport. “His dream was to move somewhere in the mountains and have a little cabin.”
Following high school, Insignares studied to become an HVAC technician, but after he was diagnosed with epilepsy at 19, his career plans were put on hold indefinitely. Doctors advised that stopped driving due to the severity of his seizures, which once led to a case of kidney failure.
On June 28, while on vacation at his grandparents’ home in Florida, and having just celebrated his grandfather’s 80th birthday, Insignares suffered a seizure while swimming and drowned. He was 24 years old.
Insignares’ mother said her son was in good health throughout much of his life and it came as a complete shock when he was diagnosed with epilepsy. “We had no clue. The rug was just pulled out from under us.”
On July 3, a GoFundMe campaign was launched to cover the cost of Elijah’s funeral. In one month, it raised more than $5,000. The family thanked those who donated online and expressed their gratitude for the support received during their difficult time.
Elijah’s mother said it’s important to spread epilepsy awareness and said she’ll be doing her part by participating at the Fourth Annual ‘Into The Light’ Walk For Epilepsy at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan.
She said she often thinks fondly of her son and his unique style, and that she wishes he could join her at the walk.
“He’d listen to heavy metal and he had long hair and a really long beard,” she said. “People would look at him and probably shy away from him, but he would be the first one to help you if he saw you in need. He had the biggest heart, he really did.”