Galesburg wrestlers keep tradition of 'Red Out' alive in memory of former coach

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GALESBURG, Ill. (KWQC) - Nearly eight years ago, John Chapman died suddenly due to an undiagnosed heart condition.

For the past five years, Galesburg wrestling has hosted "Red Out" night to take down heart disease and raise awareness about heart health.

Chapman was a wrestling coach at Galesburg and graduated from the high school in the 80s.

His mother, Rosemary, says she wanted to take his death and turn it into something positive.

"This can happen to anybody at anytime," Chapman says. "It's a silent killer."

Current Galesburg wrestling coach Greg Liebach is in his second year as the head coach.

He's made sure the tradition lives on. His team switches out their normal silver and black singlets for red ones and fans wear red to show support.

For him, heart health education is personal.

"My mother passed away from a sudden heart related illness," he says. "I think about her a lot on a night like this."

Liebach shares encourages his wrestlers to have conversations about causes like these.

"It's through passing kind of history from one class of wrestlers to another class of wrestlers," he adds.

Chapman hopes spreading awareness will save lives.

"Maybe it will prevent other families from going through what we went through because it could have been prevented," she believes.

Since the Chapmans began their fundraising, they've raised over sixty thousand dollars for the Genesis Heart Health Institute.