Lorenzo's Oil - a parent's love and determination

Sunday, March 29, 2009

This weekend was “movie night”. Yesterday, we watched Lorenzo’s oil, a movie that’s so touching and inspirational.

The movie is about the Odone’s struggle as their son, Lorenzo, was diagnosed with Adrenoleucodystrophy (ALD), a genetic disease that progressively destroys the brain of a young boy. Lorenzo was diagnosed at the age of six. He was 14 when the movie was released.

ALD is a genetic disease transferred by the mother to her son. How can any mother carry that devastating guilt that it was her fault that her son is suffering and about to die? I don’t know if I can be as brave as Lorenzo’s mother, Michaela Odone.

A parent’s love and determination to find medical help to their son’s devastating illness was portrayed in the movie. Both parents did not give up. Two ordinary people found ways to find different solutions and research to help find a cure or an alternative whereas a team of medical experts have failed.

I was so taken by the mother knowing that the oil is not a miracle drug or something that will treat her son per se, she still didn’t give up.

Experimental medicine – would you try it at any cost? What if your children are suffering? What if there’s so much pain? How can a mother endure the pain that their child is going through? Trying new means to find a cure – is it prolonging their suffering or is it finding HOPE for a cure?

As a mother, I feel that my life does not belong to me. My life is my children’s. There is still an invisible umbilical cord that will forever connect my children to my very being.
It’s the same connection that I feel when I see them jumping down the stairs that initiate a feeling that I’m being poked with pins and needles; The same reason why I don’t truly sleep deeply at night – every silent sound from my children is being amplified directly into my heart.

Michaela Odone showed so much courage, patience, hope and fighting spirit. ( She died in 2000; Lorenzo died in June 2008)
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