The Press News | Walter Doerschuk
Erik Loy enjoys a lot of fun things other 15-year-old teenagers do.
"I live a normal teenage life," said the soon-to-be freshman at East Canton High School. "I hang out with friends and play sports."
Loy likes playing basketball, running track and helping the East Canton cross country team. He has been involved with student council and choir. He stays busy with academics.
The thing that makes Loy unlike many other 15-year-olds is he has been battling Primary Sclerosing Chloangitis, a rare form of liver disease also known as Walter Payton's Disease. This has been going on for a little more than two years.
Erik was diagnosed in January of 2010 when he told his parents Tom and Kelly Loy that he had a stomach ache.
"We took him to a pediatrician who discovered he had an enlarged spleen, and he was sent to the emergency room," Kelly Loy said. "He had some blood work done, and they didn't like what they saw. He was sent to Akron Children's Hospital. After discussing family history they discovered the disease."
The Loys already had knowledge of Erik's condition because Tom's brother the late Steve Loy also suffered from it. Steve, a former head basketball coach at Walsh University, was diagnosed with the condition around the same time as three other area coaches. Malone University Men's Basketball Coach Hal Smith, Wooster High School Head Coach Chuck Cooper and Lake High School Athletic Director Bruce Brown all found out they had the disease as well.
Because their relative also had the condition, Erik and Kelly were not as worried when they heard the news of Erik's diagnosis.
"I knew about it, so it really didn't scare me that much because I was familiar with it," Erik said.
"The upside is we were familiar with it," Kelly said. "The downside is it's a serious disease."
Read more: http://www.the-press-news.com/local%20news/2012/06/13/east-canton-student-stays-positive-while-battling-rare-form-of-liver-disease