Roy Halladay fan in Campbellford remembers him as ‘generous,’ ‘selfless’
Sean Leathong, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017 7:26PM EST
A young Roy Halladay fan in Campbellford, Ont. is reflecting fondly on the special bond that he had with the late Toronto Blue Jays pitcher.
“I was excited to be a very special part of his life, and excited that he welcomed me into his life, and we were buddies,” Isaac McFadyen told CTV News Toronto at his home in Campbellford.
When the McFadyen family heard of Halladay’s passing it “hit home,” said Isaac’s father Andrew.
“I think he had a legacy on the baseball field, but I think the more important one was off - that he was kind, generous, selfless,” Isaac told CTV News Toronto.
Isaac has a rare disease called MPS VI, it’s caused by an enzyme deficiency that stunts growth, causes joints to stiffen and valves to fail. He needs weekly treatments to stay alive.
In 2008, Isaac was able to watch a Toronto Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre as a guest in the Doc’s box. Halladay and his wife Brandy often hosted patients and their families from The Hospital for Sick Children.
“When Roy and Brandy rolled into our lives, they believed in us, they believed in our mission,” Andrew said.
The next season, at just five years old, McFadyen threw the first pitch at a Blue Jays game. Halladay signed the ball and a hat for him. He also donated to The Isaac Foundation, a charity that funds research projects to find a cure for MPS VI.
“I feel like he wanted to help others a lot more than he wanted to help himself,” Isaac said.
The profile Halladay added to the foundation has helped fund gene therapy in Italy, in the hope of finding a cure.