By Kathy Walsh
FIRESTONE, Colo. (CBS4) – On May 12, a Colorado couple is challenging people around the world to do a dozen acts of kindness. It is their way of honoring their twin sons who died before their first birthday.
Liz and Chris Kawulok of Firestone are taking the loss of their adorable baby boys and turning it into love.
“They were goofballs,” that is how father, Chris Kawulok, described his identical twins, Luke and Liam. “We loved those little guys.”
“They were so happy,” added Liz Kawulok, the boys’ mother.
But life didn’t come easy for the twins. Four months into Liz’s pregnancy, doctors discovered a rare disease called Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). One twin was getting too much blood, the other too little.
“We flew out to Seattle and had emergency surgery within 36 hours,” explained Liz.
A risky procedure in utero saved the babies. They were born eight weeks early.
“As soon as we got them into the NICU, they were thriving,” said Liz.
Then the twins got a devastating diagnosis. They had lissencephaly, a rare gene-linked disorder which means “smooth brain.” The boys’ brains were malformed, growing without the normal folds in the cerebral cortex. Their parents were told the twins’ life expectancy was two years.
“There’s two ways you can do. You either be angry or you can decide to suck it up and enjoy every second with them and that’s what we did,” said Liz.
Liz and Chris took the boys home and loved them.
“Every time they’d smile or they would coo or make noise or giggle it was something we didn’t know they would ever do, so it was really kind of a special moment every single time,” said Chris.
Liam died in his parents arms at seven months old.
“I didn’t know what to do anymore,” said an emotional Liz.
Luke died four weeks later.
“And I truly believe that he died because his brother wasn’t here anymore,” said Liz.
On March 6, Liz gave birth to a baby girl name Zosia Luli, “Lu” for Luke and Li for Liam.
“We have holes in our hearts and she’s like the flowers around the holes,” said Liz.
The Kawuloks work to fill those holes with love. On the twins’ birthday, May 12, they honor them with 12 acts of kindness.
“We don’t want them to be forgotten,” said Chris.
They ask others to join them and be part of Luke and Liam’s living legacy.
Wear blue for the baby boys and post your acts of kindness on social media with the hashtag #forLandL. You will make the day better for at least a dozen people and definitely for two heartbroken parents.