MERIDIAN -- This is the seventh year of 'Live for 175,' a campaign by 103.5 KISS FM to raise awareness for child abuse. DJ Kekeluv kicked off the event Friday morning, and says he won't sleep for one week.
People on bicycles have to pedal to keep the station on the air. They're cycling to break the cycle of child abuse. After seven years of doing this, Kekeluv says it's still a struggle to stay awake for days on end.
My body clock has changed over the past couple years, where I do mornings now so I'm used to getting up in the morning and going to bed, said Kekeluv. I'm on a clock, so last night I wanted to go to bed and my body was trying to shut down on me, so I don't know how you really prepare.
He said it's mostly mental but he gets through it with the help of listeners and volunteers.
A lot of it's just the drive of the people that are riding on the bike and the people that are calling the radio station, said Kekeluv.
He's also motivated by the cause -- raising awareness about child abuse.
I struggle really hard with talking about it because these stories are life-changing, life-altering for me, he said. A little girl came in today and was telling me that because of what she heard on the radio she finally confronted her mom and slipped her mom a note and said, 'this is happening' and it got her out of harm's way.
Angela Manning, Mrs. City of Trees, has a very personal connection to the cause.
I've had brothers that have been abused, I've been abused, and I don't want any other children to go through it, said Manning.
Manning said this event is empowering, and helps bring the cause to light.
It's almost a stigma, Manning said. Maybe everybody thinks everybody's going through it and it's not that big of a deal, but it is. People are dying over it, losing themselves.
I talk to so many kids and I just vowed to do something, said Kekeluv. I think it's the first time that you realize that there are other kids out there like that and not just kids, we're trying to break that cycle young, so that when they get older they will have been able to stop it.
Live for 175 will be on the corner of Eagle and Fairview until next Friday. If you would like to cycle to break the cycle of child abuse, stop on by or call 697-9191 to sign up for a specific time.