Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

'Lorenzo's Oil' inspiration dead at 30

CNN is reporting that Lorenzo Odone, whose story inspired the 1992 Oscar-nominated film Lorenzo's Oil, died Friday, the day after his 30th birthday–more than 20 years longer than doctors expected him to live. The cause of death was apparently complications from pneumonia.

Odone suffered from adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a rare disease that affects the insulating membrane of the brain's nerve cells. When he was diagnosed at age 6, doctors told his parents, Augusto and Michaela, the boy had about two years to live. Because so little was known about the disease at the time, and there was essentially no treatment for it, Odone's parents created a concoction of olive and grapeseed oils to treat him, with apparent success.

Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte starred in the film adaptation, with Sarandon earning an Oscar nomination for her performance. (She lost to Emma Thompson for Howards End.) It was also nominated for best original screenplay, but lost to Neil Jordan for The Crying Game.

This doesn't look like the end of the story, though; Augusto plans to return to his native Italy and write a book about Lorenzo's life.


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