HULA VISTA, Calif. — If Zoe Dewaghe wants ice cream for breakfast, she gets ice cream for breakfast. There’s a different set of rules for her younger brother, Zach: He gets oatmeal instead.
That’s because five-year-old Zoe has a rare genetic disease called Sanfilippo syndrome. Her body can’t metabolize certain sugars properly, leading to progressive brain damage. She’ll gradually lose the ability to speak, to move, to recognize her surroundings. Most patients don’t live into adulthood.