Lorenzo's Oil is a 1992 film about a boy who develops a disease so rare that nobody is working on a cure. His parents decide to learn all about it and tackle the problem themselves. It is based on a true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone, two parents in a relentless search for a cure for their son Lorenzo's adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD).
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- Do you know how many children die every year from choking on french fries? Many more than from Adrenoleukodistrophy. You see, ours is what is known as an orphan disease, too small to be noticed, too small to be funded, especially with the iron hand of "Reaganomics".
- Augusto Odone: Dr. Nikolias, what about the other boys, what results are you seeing in them?
- Professor Nikolias: As with Lorenzo it's too early to tell. We need this study to run for the full six months.
- Augusto Odone: And that would tell you what is obvious right now? That avoiding apple skins and pizza has no effect on this brutal disease?
- Augusto Odone: When we first went to the Comoros, what did we do? We got to know the country, right?
- Michaela Odone: Yes
- Augusto Odone: We studied, we got to know the language, resources, its law. We studied, right? We should treat Lorenzo's illness like another country.
- Michaela Odone: I don't quite see the analogy.
- Augusto Odone: All right, all right. ALD has many dimensions, right?
- Michaela Odone: Yes
- Augusto Odone: So, in order to understand it, we need to command genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, neurology, ology-ology.
- Michaela Odone: Augusto, we don't have time to go to medical school.
- Augusto Odone: Michaela, the doctors are in the dark. They're groping in the dark. They've got Lorenzo on a turvy-topsy diet. And that bloody immunosuppression is brutal and useless. Michaela, we should not have consigned him blindly into their hands. He should not suffer by our ignorance. We take responsibility. So... we read a little. And we go out and inform ourselves.
- Michaela Odone: But... to miss time with him while he can still speak to us...
- Augusto Odone: Yes, I know, I know. But he expects it of us.
- Ellard Muscatine: When Michael, our first boy, got sick, we searched around looking for anything that might help him. You know what was the best thing that happened? He was taken quickly. Now Tommy... he has lasted three years, for two of them, he's been without his sight, his mind, everything that makes him a human being, he's a vegetable. Y'know if you would just stop all this denial, you wouldn't do a thing to prolong your boy's suffering and indignity one minute longer.
- Loretta Muscatine: Has it occurred to you that maybe he doesn't want to be around anymore?
- Michaela Odone: The life of one boy is not enough reward for you to risk the reputation of the institution and the esteem of your peers.
- Professor Nikolias: That was uncalled for. Your responsibility is merely towards your own child. My responsibility is towards all the boys that suffer from this disease, now and in the future. Of course I anguish for the suffering of your boy. And of course I applaud you for the efforts you make on his behalf. But I will have nothing to do with this oil.
- Michaela Odone: We are not asking, Doctor, for your anguish or your applause. We are asking merely for a little courage.