‘His greatest joy’: Toronto boy with rare disease caught with bags of favorite potato chips


A Toronto boy with a rare disease finds his way through a big surprise, dozens of bags of his favorite snack – Lay’s Classic potato chips.

Isaiah Schwartz, 11, lives with a condition called classic galactosemia. His mother Charlotte says he is just one of 12 people with the disease in Ontario, which severely restricts his diet, mainly anything with milk.

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

“Over the past two years, when so much has been taken away from him, he has received so many chips,” an emotional Charlotte said.

The loot arrived after a particularly difficult time for Isaiah. Charlotte explained that the pandemic has been very difficult for Isaiah because he cannot do school online.

More recently, getting your hands on the tokens proved a bit difficult as they were off the shelves of its local Loblaw-operated stores, including Valu-Mart and Shoppers Drug Mart, due to the pricing dispute. It is not influenced by other brands.

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

“A few days after the test, I received a call from SickKids letting me know that this was not good news and that they are exploring this further now,” she said.

Charlotte took to social media, expressing how much of a champion Isaiah had been before and during the proceedings, as well as a bit of frustration at getting her hands on the chips.

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

These bags were bags of chips. Over the next few days, approximately 50 bags landed on their doorstep from friends, neighbors and other families in the rare disease community.

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

Charlotte admits that it will take a while for Isaiah to finish all the tokens and that they are well stocked.

She added that it would be nice if he got more surprise tokens and joked that she would save some extra money, but the truth is that they are her favorite thing.

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


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