Dana Point Teen Has Disease Forcing Her To Avoid The Sun — But Not Dreams Or Goals

DANA POINT (CBSLA.com)  — Riley McCoy is a senior at Dana Hills High.

Like many young women her age, she’s thought of what it would be like to be  homecoming queen with a crown placed high on her head.

McCoy has battled a disease, however, that sometimes put typical dreams slightly out of reach.

As CBS2’s Jo Kwon reports, very little does get in McCoy’s way. She spent much of Friday wondering if she would in fact wear the crown this evening. (Spoiler Alert: She won!)

Her disease forces her to avoid the sun.  But her disease doesn’t limit her. Kwon spoke to her before the ceremony. “I feel very, very blessed and very honored and am super happy.”

McCoy, 17, is hardly able to contain her excitement.  She says she’s been wanting to be homecoming queen since she saw other students win the title.

“It’s so cool! I want to be that person,” McCoy said.

She’s a typical teen.

“I love hanging out with my friends a lot.”

And she also loves her two dogs.

But there is very little typical about McCoy or her life.

“Riley was diagnosed with a rare disease called Xeroderma pigmentosum,” says he mom, Pam. “They call it X.P. for short.”

The condition is rare and dangerous. UV rays give McCoy the appearance of having third degree burns. The disease also affects her hearing and brain cells.

A diagnosis of what she has would stop a lot of people But McCoy is not like most.

“Sure,it’s an issue,” she said, “But I don’t let it bother me.”

A pre-homecoming pep rally — normally held outdoors — was held inside so Riley could attend and participate.

 

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