|Ashanthi DeSilva, 12, born with ADA deficiency, became the first person to receive successful gene therapy, in 1990.
|Angie Rojas's cells are about to be returned to her. Taken from her bone marrow five days earlier, genetically altered and nourished in the lab, the cells nestle in the tip of a syringe, about 45 million of them, a pale nib barely visible in the liquid. When the doctor nods and the nurse starts the "push," the cells trickle through an IV lock into the teenager's bloodstream. It is September 1, 2001, and gene therapy is mounting another try.
José Rojas gets up from his seat at the window, eager to keep his daughter's face in view. He cranes his head around the monitor at the foot of the bed. Lucy, her mother, stays seated, placid as usual. She has been with Angie in hospital rooms more times than she can count. This time, she hopes, the doctors will arrest the severe immune disorder that has stalked her daughter's life. She knows the treatment is experimental. Pressing close to Lucy is a young cousin, Denise, whom Angie has invited to the hospital. The girl looks around wide-eyed, not sure how to react.
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