MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The family of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student is remembering their loved one, who would have celebrated his 21st birthday Wednesday.
The family is celebrating him regardless by bringing attention to a cause they are fighting for after losing their son.READ MORE: PlanetWatch: Miami Chosen As 1st Major US Location For New Air Quality Monitoring Network
“Thinking about today that we can be celebrating, sharing, and toasting and I imagined all of his friends coming and having a party,” says Patricia Oliver.
For many years August 4 was full of excitement for the Oliver family but especially this year it’s only the thoughts of what could have been.
Patricia’s son, Joaquin would have turned 21.
“It’s been already 3 1/2 years, it seems like a lot of time, but it’s not it seems like it was yesterday,” says Oliver.
Joaquin was one of the seventeen killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
Since then, the family has been turning their pain into purpose.
For the second year in a row, the family is honoring Joaquin with a twenty-one-hour virtual “guac-a-thon”.”READ MORE: Hollywood Family Lights ‘Greater & Bigger’ Display After Thief Steals Their 6-Foot Metal Menorah
“Joaquin used to be called guac by his friends and the name came from there,” says Oliver.
The Guac-a-thon is streamed from the family’s home and features some familiar faces, it’s all being done with the goal of ending gun violence.
“The gun violence is something that is attacking all of us, it doesn’t make exceptions you don’t know when it going to become your turn or not,” says Oliver.
The live stream is being filmed just feet away from Joaquin’s bedroom.
Much of it stands as a moment in time when he was a high schooler with pictures of his favorite bands and his friends on the wall.
His mom still finding comfort in his space.
“I feel that I am thankful that we were able to do that, and we were able to build memories,” says Oliver.MORE NEWS: Dale Holness Files Lawsuit Seeking To Overturn Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick's Razor-Thin Win
You can watch the livestream here.