‘His greatest joy’: Toronto boy with rare disease surprised with bags of favourite potato chips

A Toronto boy with a rare disease is eating his way through a big surprise, dozens of bags of his favourite snack — Lay’s Classic potato chips.

Isaiah Schwartz, 11, lives with a disease called Classic galactosemia. His mother Charlotte says he’s only one of 12 people in Ontario with the disease, which seriously restricts his diets, mostly anything containing milk.

“Good,” Schwartz exclaimed speaking to CTV News Toronto on Monday after receiving about 50 bags of the chips on his doorstep last week.

“In the past two years where so much has been taken away from him, he has received so much in the way of chips,” said an emotional Charlotte.

The loot arrived after an especially tough time for Isaiah. Charlotte explained the pandemic has been really hard on Isaiah because he can’t do online school.

More recently, getting a hold of the chips turned into a bit of a challenge, as they were off the shelves at his local Loblaw-run stores, including Valu-Mart and Shoppers Drug Mart, because of the pricing dispute. He’s not swayed by other brands.

Then Isaiah had his first seizure, and had to prepare for a test that involved his brain staying awake all night.

“A couple days after the test, I got a call from SickKids letting me know it wasn’t good news and they are exploring that further now,” she said.

Charlotte took to social media, expressing what a champ Isaiah had been ahead of and during the procedure, along with a little frustration about getting a hold of the chips.

“The next day I was working here in my dining room because I’m working from home and just throughout the day, I started noticing a lot of people walking up the steps to my front door and leaving bags and paper bags behind.”

Those bags were bags of chips. Over the following days, about 50 bags landed on their doorstep from friends, neighbours and other families in the rare disease community.

“It made such a difference for him. It was such a tough week for him and to come home to that big surprise was really exciting for him,” she said. “It’s so cliché but it really is the little things and we really appreciate it.”

Charlotte admits it’s going to take a while for Isaiah to finish all the chips and they are well stocked.

She added it would be lovely if he received more surprise chips and joked she would save some extra money, but the truth of the matter is that they are his favourite thing.

“If I had to guess, his most favourite thing is sitting here in the sun eating a bowl of plain Lay’s,” she said. “That’s his greatest joy.” 

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