The Place: Louis Chaix’s 10 for TEN Journey
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A local hockey player moved from France to the states as a teenager to chase his athletic dreams just years after he survived a traumatic skin disease that almost took his life. Now he’s combining his passions with his drive to help others who are going through the same thing, creating a journey that’s one for the books and will take him across the U.S. from coast to coast.
“It’s going to help me close this chapter of my life and put it behind, once and for all,” said 24-year-old Louis Chaix, a survivor of a rare skin disorder that nearly took his life at just six years old.
“One day after school, I had flu like symptoms and the next day, I woke up with blisters all over my body and my skin started falling off,” said Chaix.
Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis is the most severe form of Stevens-Johnson syndrome. According to the National Library of Medicine, it affects 1 to 2 people per million each year and kills half of those diagnosed with it. It causes a painful rash to spread and blister and Chaix was covered head to toe on over 80% of his little body. Though he was literally burning up from the inside out, Chaix refused to go down without a fight.
“I was like, I’m not going anywhere. I have hockey to play. I have a life to live,” he said.
Chaix was introduced to hockey when he was four years old. Since then, he developed a love for the sport that turned into his main reason to live.
“I promised myself that, when I made it out, I would one day be playing in the U.S. or Canada,” he said. After making a remarkable recovery, he left to chase his athletic dreams at the age of 14.
“I lived in Canada for three years, El paso, TX, Boston for three years and then I transferred here to Springfield,” he said.
Now one of the Ice Bears, Chaix plays hockey for Missouri State University. Finally living the life he always imagined, he started to feel a little survivor’s guilt.
“I was like, why is it you get to live your life and chase your dreams everyday, but there’s people still suffering from the disease. There’s people who don’t have answers. I personally don’t have answers on what causes anything,” said Chaix. He ruminated this for a while, until the idea came to him while he was rollerblading with a friend around campus last year.
“I looked at him and I’m like, how crazy would it be to skate across the United States. He’s like sure dude okay, it’d be really cool, but like come on. I got home and I can’t get this thought out of my head. I need to do this, but I need a reason why...Then I’m like, hello! You survived this crazy disease. You could raise awareness and help for research,” Chaix said.
A year and a half later, Chaix is finally getting ready for his 10 for TEN Journey. In just a couple weeks, he will leave Venice Beach Skate Park in Los Angeles, CA and head towards Times Square in New York City, NY on rollerblades. The goal is to raise $100,000 for research and help families impacted by the same disease that nearly took his life.
″You know, medical costs and living situations when kids are in the hospital, ‘cause I know that was an issue for me,” Chaix explained.
This journey is no easy feat. It’s taken a lot of hard work, dedication and an entire team to put it all together.
“We’re gonna have an RV following me with all the equipment I need,” Chaix said.
As if there wasn’t already enough pressure to finish the journey, Chaix is taking it one step further and is aiming to break the world record of the fastest time across with the help of the current record-holder, Kacie Cleveland.
“She was on the phone and she was like, well, I wanna ask you something. I want you to beat my record and I want to help you do it,” he explained.
Kacie went from California to Florida in 47 and a half days back in 2012. In order to beat her record, the amount of training Chaix needs is a lot more than your regular gym session.
“It’s hours on hours on hours,” Chaix explained.
Not to mention, he’s a full-time college student.
“I had three classes in the morning, I had to swim for an hour, bike for an hour, then I was busy all day with meetings, homework and then I had to go run for an hour,” he continued.
But at the end of a hard day, he knows it’ll all be worth it in the end because he knows he can make a difference in the lives of others.
“They’ll reach out to me and be like I just wanted to tell you that what you’re doing is amazing and it inspires me that one day I’m going to be ok as well. That’s my whole purpose and that’s what’s going to get me across more than anything,” Chaix said.
The distance from Los Angeles, LA to Times Square, NY is about 3,000 miles. Along with his team, Chaix will also be followed by a movie production crew filming his journey for a future documentary. The 10 for TEN Journey begins on June first, 2022.
If you’d like more information about Chaix and his 10 for TEN Journey, or to donate, visit: https://miafilmproductions.wedid.it
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