When Thomas’ illness made it impossible for him to drive, he relied on friends to do it for him.
Attending the reveal of the 2016 MX-5 Miata and the subsequent 25th anniversary celebration at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca confirmed that the little roadster maintains broad appeal, one not limited to the elderly or a certain gender as detractors might have you believe. In fact, the assembled crowd was surprisingly youthful, particularly amongst the club racer set and tuners. But one young Miata owner and superfan unfortunately wasn’t in attendance – Thomas Jost, 19, was busy fighting for his life in a Maryland hospital.
Sadly, it was a years-long battle he lost on Saturday afternoon.
Thomas, a Cleveland, OH-area teen, was at Maryland’s National Institutes of Health for treatment as part of his ongoing battle with a rare auto-immune disease known as Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidiasis – the same genetic affliction that led to his mother’s death when Thomas was four years old. Experimental treatments related to CMC would eventually weaken his immune system, making him susceptible to a virus that led to his passing.
Thomas was a diehard MX-5 fan. I know this because my son, Nate, counted Thomas among his best friends. Thomas’ Mariner-Blue 1991 NA MX-5 was his first car, and my son describes him as “obsessed” with everything about his self-described “Smurfin’ Miata.” With the help of family and friends including my son, he not only customized the suspension, wheels and stereo on his Mazda, he eventually executed an automatic to manual transmission swap in his garage. He was also a member of the Autoblog community, often stealing away bits of time to read this website during his classes in high school. He was also an enthusiastic member of the Ohio Miata Owner’s Association.
Teen Miata enthusiast and friend of Autoblog passes away originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.