In Remembrance of Giovanni Guglielmo (2006-2012)

On behalf of everybody at the Boston Phoenix, I would like to extend my deepest, most sincere condolences to the friends and family of Giovanni Guglielmo, who passed away on Monday after a long fight with the rare immune disorder NEMO. Young Gio was just five-years-old, but, as noted in the Boston Herald's excellent coverage of the story, his short time on this earth was beyond remarkable.

Phoenix readers might recognize the Guglielmo name from our recent feature on the family, namely of Gio's father, Michael. Our in-depth reporting on his remarkable turnaround – from stone cold criminal to literal life-saver – remains one of our most viewed articles this year, and has touched dozens of people enough to call and email us for updates.

I recently visited Gio at Boston Children's Hospital. He was battling severe colitis – one of many serious health issues that he's endured over the years. Gio was resting when I arrived, and so his father and I retreated to a nearby pub for a chat. There Michael shared a number of stories about other times when he almost lost his son. Despite so much adversity, it seemed like he'd keep bouncing back. Gio was a trooper.

We will follow-up with Michael and his family in next week's Phoenix. From what we've learned of the man, he's far from a quitter, and we expect that he'll honor his son's legacy by continuing to work finding bone marrow donors for patients who need matches. In the meantime, for those who've been inspired by Gio, you can help the cause by joining the DKMS effort.

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