HAWTHORNE (CBSLA) — Marcus Kowal is on a mission to help save lives.
As KCAL9/CBS2’s Jo Kwon reports, the MMA fighter and his wife, whose 15-month-old son was killed by a drunk driver in Hawthorne, say they want to help families avoid their pain. They will attempt to break a kicking record to bring awareness to the deadly impact of drunk driving.
Since Sept. 22, 2016, Kowal started doing 100 kicks every day as a way to honor his son Liam.
Kowal vowed to continue doing kicks for a year. He’s marking the last day — this Friday — with a 24-hour challenge that begins at noon.
“We’re doing 100 kicks on the hour every hour for 24 hours along with gyms around the world,” said Kowal.
He says he hopes to hit the record for the most people who’ve done 100 kicks in a 24-hour period.
Kowal and his wife say they’re doing this to raise awareness for the need to end drunk driving.
“It’s enough! Enough with people dying because of drunk driving,” said Kowal.
Kowal will be doing the kicks at several gyms in the Los Angeles area.
The 24-hour challenge ends at the couple’s gym, located just a block-and-a-half from 133rd and Hawthorne. That is where Liam was crossing the street in a stroller when a drunk driver hit and killed him.
Liam’s mom Mishel Eder says the pain her family has been forced to feel could have been easily avoided.
“Nobody should lose any loved one to something so simple,” Eder said. “Just get an Uber. Get a Lyft when you’re drinking. Just don’t drive.”
The couple has invited the community to Hawthorne to the finale of the challenge Saturday at noon.
“It’s difficult because it’s been a way to honor my son,” said Kowal.
But he says it’s the start of more work for the Liam’s Life Foundation to help save future generations from drunk driving tragedies, including Liam’s little brother Nico.