Live Life Like Louis
By Chloe Thio, Eric and Lillian Lowenthal
After the accidental drowning death of 14-year-old Louis Lowenthal, a North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmer, his family decided to emerge with something positive in the face of tragedy, a simple motto that embodied the life of their son and brother: Live Life Like Louis.
With Louis’ death in October 2012, we wanted to support a cause that was important to him; one that would help kids be more interested in healthy eating and exercise, and one that would focus on the positive impact these habits have on school success. We decided to promote events such as the Stoneleigh Stampede in Towson, Maryland, an event where participants can walk a mile or run a 5K to raise money for a worthy cause – and that cause was Action for Healthy Kids. An infinity logo was designed in Louis’ honor to brand the event and came to represent him in many ways: his love of mathematics, his memories living on into infinity, and the infinite ways his beliefs could continue to influence others.
Louis’ interest in a healthy lifestyle stemmed from our family, his love for swimming, and his desire to do well in school. We’ve always provided our family with healthy foods, regularly serving fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal, and maintaining the habit of not having a dessert every night. Because Louis grew up with these habits, he learned to make healthy eating choices. This carried over into his academics; he was an outstanding student, a dedicated and lifelong learner. He understood that eating healthy foods was important for success by helping him maintain more focus and concentration in school.
Louis was passionate about swimming; he started out on a summer swim team in our Baltimore neighborhood when he was five. As Louis wrote in his own words about our neighborhood pool, “Every serious athlete’s love for his or her sport starts out as a small, innocent hobby of sorts, something for fun. For me, this was the Stoneleigh Pool.” From there, he went on to swim on a year-round club team, and his love for swimming continued to grow. His favorite event was the 200 breaststroke, an event that he won in several large meets.
By the time he was 12-years-old, Louis was the 200 breaststroke Maryland state champion. His swimming drove healthy eating because he understood that he would perform best when he gave his body the right fuel.
Many of Louis’ friends noticed and adopted his habits, and over time, we hope that the childhood obesity epidemic will improve through peer leadership. If AFHK can raise awareness in a nucleus of children and their families, then, slowly, the message will spread to others. Although the motto Live Life Like Louis was never intended to be a slogan, it came instinctively from two friends who were on Louis’ swim team, and was converted into an infinity logo which our family uses to honor his enthusiasm and his memory. We plan to remain involved with AFHK since we believe in the cause, and most importantly, it helps us stay connected to Louis by being involved in something that was important to him.
Louis’ family has raised over $92,500 for Action for Healthy Kids’ school-based programs that fight childhood obesity. If you’re inspired, Live Life Like Louis and join Team Healthy Kids. You can participate in any activity you like while raising money to keep kids healthy.