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Lorenzo’s Oil

Starring: Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, etc.
Director: George Miller (II)
Rated: PG 13
Year of Release: 1992
Video Release Date: August 31, 1999

Based on a true story, two parents struggle to find a cure for their son’s apparently incurable, degenerative and terminal disease. The Odones have a five-year-old son, Lorenzo, who is diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). The doctors say it is a rare disease that strikes only boys. Victims die after losing all sensory functions. All known treatments are experimental and none are rated as successful. No boy with ALD has ever survived. Though the parents enlist the boy in the most promising of the experimental treatment programs immediately following his diagnosis, the disease progresses rapidly and things look hopeless.

But the parents refuse to give up, despite the pessimistic prognosis from all the experts. From their various discussions with the experts, it is clear to them that one problem they face is the lack of a system for integrating knowledge about the disease. So they take it upon themselves to organize an international symposium of experts and parents of afflicted boys. The father combs the medical literature looking for clues. The mother stays at the son’s side. Neither looses hope or faith, but the emotional strain takes its toll on their relationship. Eventually, they begin to connect various unrelated and overlooked theories, and despite resistance from a disbelieving medical world, they finally connect the right two ideas, discovering in the nick of time that the cure for ALD lies in a special olive oil.

Viewing Suggestion:

Notice how Lorenzo’s parents, Augusto and Michaela Odone, don’t give up in spite of the extreme emotional strain they experience. They become very creative in their efforts to save their son.

Ask Yourself:

- Are you experiencing an overwhelming challenge in your life?
- How have you coped with these kinds of challenges before?
- Can you imagine how much stronger you would feel if you faced your challenge?
- What could you achieve, if you approached a big challenge with the determination, courage and creativity that Augusto and Michaela display in the movie?