One of Thiago's favorite things is music, especially when it comes from his dad’s djembe, a percussion instrument.
Months before the sweeping quarantines imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, baby Thiago needed isolation and extra-special care of his own.
He was born in October 2019 with a genetic disorder known as X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency – often called bubble boy disease. That illness rendered his body unable to produce the B-cells, T-cells and natural-killer cells that form the framework of the immune system.
The simplest of infections could have proved fatal for the little boy.
Families, like Thiago's, will never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.
The therapy, employing a modified virus to deliver and insert a corrected copy of the gene into stem cells, spurred the establishment of his immune system.
Now back in his native Puerto Rico, the year-old boy is doing well, playing with his mother Marelis and dancing to the beats played by his percussionist father, Steven.