Augusto Odone, whose battle to find a treatment for his son's rare disease was the basis for the 1992 film "Lorenzo's Oil," died Thursday in Italy. He was 80 and had been suffering from heart problems and other ailments, according to his daughter, Cristina.
Odone, portrayed in the film by Nick Nolte, was told by doctors in 1984 that his young son, Lorenzo, would lose all his physical functions and die in just a few years of ALD, a degenerative condition that attacks the central nervous system.
Although Odone, an economist, and wife Michaela had no medical training, they defied the medical establishment and strove to find a way to halt the progression of the disease.
Lorenzo's chief caregiver, Oumouri Hassane, said Odone refused to give up. "He was a very stubborn, pushy gentleman," Hassane said Thursday, "but in a good way. You could not stop him."