• Marcus Kowal

Happy birthday Liam


Today, you’re turning 7. I write in the present tense not because of insanity but rather because although your physical being is not with us, you are. In everything we do. Today, 7 years ago, I changed as a person. My world became different and you opened my eyes to so many magical things. I became a better person.


I changed again on the day that you left us but I would like to think that albeit the events were on the exact opposite ends of the spectrum, I changed for the better but it wasn’t easy. It has taken and will continue to take a ton of work. It has taken years of intense focus on finding the way back, to improve, to continue to grow, to learn and to develop. And behind it all is you; to make sure that change will come in your name.


The past two years have proven difficult to do much in your foundation’s name, due to the pandemic. Since the world has started to come back to some normalcy, we are able to start focusing back on our work to eliminate drunk driving fatalities and to increase the amount of organ donors. A lot of the work has to do with educating the public on why lowering the BAC from 0.08 to 0.05 is so important and how it will save almost 2,000 lives a year.


In 2019, Utah experienced its first year as the first state with the .05 BAC. Utah and the authors of the .05 bill experienced an uphill battle to make it happen. There was a ton of propaganda and false claims by the opposition, the bill prevailed. This was a good feeling to see a step in the right direction when it comes to ending drunk driving fatalities. Since the law went into effect Utah saw a 19.8% reduction in fatality crash rate. Some feared that alcohol-impaired-driving arrests would sharply increase but it did not. In 2016, Utah had 8,828 arrests and in 2019, 8,512 arrests were made. The fears were unfounded and the results speak for themselves.


While there was progress in Utah, overall the country as a whole still has so much work to do. In 2020, 11,654 lives were lost in alcohol-impaired crashes. This is the highest it's been since 2008 although there were significantly less cars on the roads and miles being driven due to the pandemic. This was a disheartening statistic to read. When I see 11,654, I see all the people who lost their lives, all their families mourning them, all the pain and suffering that drunk driving leaves behind.


We recently hosted our first virtual run, where people around the world could run and raise funds for your Foundation. We also partook in David Goggins’ 4x4x48, where we ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. We raised a total of almost $10,000 between the events, all of which will go towards continuing to educate, raise awareness, and advocate for change. We so desperately need this because alcohol-impaired deaths are 100% preventable. Your passing was 100% preventable. We should be celebrating your 7th birthday together, as a family, with your siblings by your side. You know your mom would have thrown you an amazing party.


Instead today, on your birthday, there are thousands of athletes doing your workout at gyms across the world. As they are getting through the workout, they are also learning why your workout exists in the first place and this is how we will continue to educate. We have some more really exciting events and happenings on the horizon, which we are very excited about.


It can at times be frustrating and hard to continuously have to keep fighting for something so exceptionally obvious.


Because of you my dear Liam, the United States of America will be at a 0.05 BAC on the federal level, mark my words.


So today, as your turning 7, we will celebrate your birthday and although it is with a heavy heart, as it has been for the past 6 years, it is also with hope and so, so much love.


I miss you every day Liam. Pappa alskar dig.


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