One Moment Can Change Everything

12 May

“A single moment can change your life forever. I had one of those moments today while shooting a video of a 13-year old boy who is dying from an autoimmune disease.  His story is one of the most amazing and touching I have ever heard.  And it’s personal because he is the son of one of my best friends.”

Those are the words posted on Facebook by the person documenting this incredible story in an attempt to raise over $350,000 to pay for medical treatments that insurance companies won’t cover.  When contacted for this story, he asked to remain anonymous and added, “This story is about saving a 13-year-old boy’s life… not me.  Please focus on him.”  So, we will…

Imagine being a star athlete, a champion in multiple sports, and getting straight A’s in school… all by age 10!  Imagine doing that while battling a terrible genetic disorder and suffering from several autoimmune diseases that can make it impossible to walk or even hold a cup.  Now, imagine being told there is very little hope and there are no definite solutions to your genetic disorder, that your condition will lead to cancer and ultimately death before you reach adulthood.

At five months old, Louie was hit with his first autoimmune disease, which wasn’t diagnosed until after spending two months in the hospital.  His body thought he had an infection and produced fevers ranging from 101 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit (~38-42 degrees Celsius).  At one point, his heart stopped due to complications stemming from such high fevers.  The attending nurse quickly prepared an ice bath, wet several small blankets, and then wrapped and placed the quiet baby in the water and prayed the cold shock would bring his fever down so CPR could be administered to bring him back. After a couple minutes in the ice bath, everyone heard a loud roar!  It was Louis coming back and that incredible fighting spirit would come to characterize Louis’ entire life.

Because of his fevers, his doctor said that Louis should be brain dead or at the very least, have an undetermined amount of brain damage.  Oh really?  By age 10, Louis was evaluated and determined to be gifted, a “near genius.”  To this day (age 13), Louis excels in school effortlessly all while battling a deadly genetic disorder.

Louis currently suffers from eight autoimmune diseases.  He deals with massive amounts of hair loss, loss of skin pigmentation, skin rashes, painful eye bulging, thyroid disease, Grave’s disease, and very painful juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.  Nearly every day is a nightmare for Louis. He deals with pain, a dozen different medicines and their side effects, and sees doctors twice a week, all while trying to be a teenager and have fun.

His strength is uncanny and he doesn’t shed a tear and never complains. He fights with all his heart every day and treats every day as a new battle as a war he must win. He’s focused and determined, he’s unstoppable. Before his most recent diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Louis was a champion athlete. He could play nearly every position on the baseball field (including pitcher) and was both a multiple-time tournament Tae Kwon Do Champion and a Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Grappling Champion.  He also enjoyed other sports like basketball and soccer.  Unfortunately, his condition has now taken over his body.  Most days holding a cup or making it from his bed to the bathroom in the morning is a difficult task that requires assistance. Playing his favorite sports and competing in martial arts tournaments are no longer an option for him.

Down but not out, Louis perseveres.  When he is not seeing doctors, he demands to be in school.  For him, anything less than an A+ is unacceptable.  He’s focused on expanding his mind and learning as much as possible.  He plans to be a doctor and he has been known to openly talk about curing diseases to save children, saying, “One day I will cure cancers that take children, the answer is in the genes.  I just haven’t figured it out yet.  I just need more time and more studying.”

Let’s hope the campaign is able to raise the funds through donations to give Louis the time he needs to make history. (See: http://www.gofundme.com/oe37s8 for more information.)

 We love helping our patients and their friends and relatives through their tough times and getting them feeling better! We are here to help you stay feeling better and looking younger! Don’t be a stranger. You really can afford Chiropractic care! Don’t wait until you can no longer move!

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