'The Boy Who Loved Too Much:' Williams Syndrome on Wednesday's Access Utah

Aug 30, 2017

Credit The Banner

What would it be like to see everyone as a friend?

Twelve-year-old Eli D'Angelo has a genetic disorder that obliterates social inhibitions, making him irrepressibly friendly, indiscriminately trusting and unconditionally loving toward everyone he meets. It also makes him enormously vulnerable. 

Author Jennifer Latson follows Eli's story in "The Boy Who Loved Too Much," exploring the boy's coming-of-age as his mother, Gayle, is forced to decide whether to shield Eli entirely from the world or give him the freedom to find his own way. 

Latson's book, the result of three years of immersive reporting, intertwines Eli and Gayle's story with a look at the genetic basis of the behavior, revealing how insights drawn from this rare condition shed a light on what makes us all human. 

Today's program is all about Williams Syndrome, the rare genetic disorder on which Latson's book focuses.

Our guests include:

Jennifer Latson, author of "The Boy Who Loved Too Much: A True Story of Pathological Friendliness"

Terry Monkaba, Executive Director of the Williams Syndrome Association

Kerry Bringhurst, News Director at Utah Public Radio

Nathan Bringhurst, Kerry's son, who is one of the roughly one in 10,000 people worldwide with Williams Syndrome