Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Former Gamecock catcher Landon Powell is in a fight against time as he suffers from autoimmune hepatitis, a rare liver disease with no known cure, meaning he will need a liver transplant within the next ten to fifteen years.
"I was in shock when I learned I had this," Powell said, "I was always healthy. I had to take a step back and look at life."
Powell, who caught the 19th Perfect Game in Major League history on May 9, 2010, did not realize how serious his condition was at first. "My immune system attacks my liver on a daily basis. It tries to kill my liver cells." To combat the disease, Powell takes two medications on a daily basis. But those have serious side effects that can affect his vision and make him dehydrated.
A loving father and husband, Powell considers himself blessed because, "I realized I have a voice and can speak about it the disease. I decided not to crawl in a hole, but try to make a difference."