Subject of film Lorenzo’s Oil dies at 30

WASHINGTON — The man whose parents’ battle to save him from a nerve disease was told in the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil” died Friday at his home in Virginia, having lived more than 20 years longer than doctors had predicted.

WASHINGTON — The man whose parents’ battle to save him from a nerve disease was told in the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil” died Friday at his home in Virginia, having lived more than 20 years longer than doctors had predicted.

Lorenzo Odone, who doctors had predicted would die in childhood, died one day after his 30th birthday, said his father, Augusto Odone.

Lorenzo Odone had come down with aspiration pneumonia recently after getting food stuck in his lungs, his father said. He began bleeding heavily, and before an ambulance reached their home his son was dead, Odone said.

“He could not see or communicate, but he was still with us,” Odone said Friday. “He did not suffer. … That’s the important thing.”

Odone was found at age 6 to have adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD. His doctors told his parents the disease — caused by a genetic mutation that causes the neurological system to break down — would lead to death in two years.

The disease leads to the accumulation of substances called very long chain fatty acids in cells, which causes irreversible damage to the material that coats nerve fibers in the brain.

Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte starred as Michaela and Augusto Odone in 1992’s “Lorenzo’s Oil,” which recounted their efforts to formulate the oil they said helped their son fight the neurological disease, despite lacking scientific backgrounds.

A study published in 2005, based on research with 84 boys, showed that a treatment made from olive and rapeseed oils — patented by Augusto Odone — can prevent onset of the disease’s symptoms for most boys who receive an ALD diagnosis.

Odone plans to take his son’s ashes to New York to mix them with those of his wife, who died in 2000. Then, Odone said, he will sell his home in Fairfax, Va., and move back to his native Italy.

Odone also plans to write a book memorializing his son, “to tell the story of Lorenzo as a way to make him live on.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A young new Canadian holds a flag as she takes part in a citizenship ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Open arms in an era of closed borders: pandemic-era immigration plan to be released

Backlogs are amassing that could take years to clear up

A sign at a Starbucks Coffee store in south Seattle is shown, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Starbucks saw faster-than-expected recovery in the U.S. and China in its fiscal fourth quarter, giving it confidence as it heads into the holiday season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. More federal financial support is on its way to help Indigenous people and communities cope with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Feds to unveil more pandemic support for Indigenous communities

Another $650 million to help Indigenous communities

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Workers at Olymel's Red Deer pork processing plant are among those eligible for a $2-an-hour bonus because of the pandemic.
Red Deer Advocate file photo
Two Olymel workers test positive for COVID-19 in Red Deer

Two workers at Olymel’s pork processing facility in Red Deer have tested… Continue reading

In this file photo, Nicholas Bennett was one of 13 swimmers set to compete for Canada at the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games this summer. (Swimming Canada photo)
Swimming Canada urges pools to accommodate youth, says can be done safely

Participation of nine and 10-year-olds down 60 per cent

Team Newfoundland and Labrador skip Brad Gushue poses with the Brier Tankard trophy after defeating Team Alberta in the Brier curling final in Kingston, Ont., on Sunday, March 8, 2020. Gushue experienced mixed emotions as he prepared to throw practice stones for the first time this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Lesbian couple Yi Wang, right, and Yumi Meng pose during a military mass weddings ceremony in Taoyuan city, northern Taiwan, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Two lesbian couples tied the knot in a mass ceremony held by Taiwan’s military on Friday in a historic step for the island. Taiwan is the only place in Asia to have legalized gay marriage, passing legislation in this regard in May 2019.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Two same-sex couples in military marry in first for Taiwan

Only place in Asia to have legalized same-sex marriage

Paris Jackson poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Oct. 27, 2020, to promote her debut solo album “Wilted,” releasing on Nov. 13. Her new single “Let Down” drops Friday, Oct. 30. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Paris Jackson mines her heartache for solo debut album

11 songs on the concept album ‘Wilted’

Ryan, Falcons avenge earlier loss to Panthers, 25-17

Ryan, Falcons avenge earlier loss to Panthers, 25-17

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2015, file photo, former world boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. shows off his Russian passport during a news conference in Moscow, Russia. Mike Tyson and Jones got permission from California's athletic commission to return to the boxing ring next month because their fight would be strictly an exhibition of their once-unparalleled skills. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)
Mike Tyson, Roy Jones promise a fight in “exhibition” return

Mike Tyson, Roy Jones promise a fight in “exhibition” return

Most Read