The greatest thing about the community of car enthusiasts is the way we can come together when one of us needs help, like we've done for Connor Harrison and countless others. I'm kind of hoping we'll do the same for the family of Thomas Jost.
Jalopnik reader Spencer Williams told us on Saturday about Thomas, a 19-year-old Miata enthusiast who suffered from a rare auto-immune disease called Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidiasis.
According to Spencer and Thomas' GoFundMe page, this disease killed Thomas' mother when he was five. He was receiving treatment for the illness but he contracted a virus, and over the last few months it left Thomas in the hospital in an unresponsive state. He was receiving treatment in Maryland at the National Institutes of Health.
Unfortunately, the disease claimed Thomas' life on Saturday afternoon, not long after we first heard about the situation. To make matters worse, his medical care has left his father with a great deal of medical bills.
I never met Thomas, but I wish I could have. It's pretty clear that he was very much one of us, a dedicated car guy and a die-hard Miata fan. According to his obituary, he was affiliated with the Ohio Miata Owner's Association and the Northeastern Ohio Mustang Club, and had a great passion for his slammed blue NA Miata, his friends and family, and his dogs.
I'm posting this in case anyone feels generous enough to help Thomas' family with their medical expenses, which can be done on their GoFundMe page.
I'm also asking you all to keep this young man and his family in your thoughts. They lost a son, and our community lost one of our own.
Update: As of Tuesday morning, donations have shot up more than $5,000 since I posted this story the night before. You folks are the best. Thank you.
Update 2: Bolstered by a story over at Autoblog, donations are at $11,655 as of Wednesday morning. Go car people!
Photo credit Carlos Sanchez Hernandez