BEDMINSTER, N.J.— Drug companies are fond of saying that every patient counts, but in the world of orphan diseases, entire business plans are built around the idea.

That is why Andrew E. Jablonski, a 26-year-old from Lincoln, Nebraska, was a guest of honor this month at NPS Pharmaceuticals, a small New Jersey company that is about to begin selling Gattex, its only approved drug. Mr. Jablonski, who was born missing most of his intestines and has a condition known as short bowel syndrome, is central to the company’s mission to win over the tiny pool of patients— fewer than 5,000 nationwide— that the drug is intended to treat.

Check out the full New York Times article on Andy Jablonski, his disease, and his great cause here: