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When Sammy Basso was diagnosed with progeria at 2, it seemed likely that the disease’s hyper-accelerated aging would kill him before he graduated high school.

“There was nothing. Nothing. No cure, of course, no treatments, no information. It was catastrophic,” said Basso, spokesperson for the Progeria Research Foundation, at STAT’s Breakthrough Science Summit on Wednesday. “Nobody could believe that we will be able to arrive at this point. But here we are.”

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