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Augusto Odone

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Lorenzo and Augusto Odone (Dayna Smith/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
ROME (AP) - Augusto Odone, a former World Bank economist who defied scientists to invent a treatment to save his child's life, has died in his native Italy. He was 80.

His daughter Cristina Odone says her father died Thursday after suffering organ failure precipitated by a lung infection.

Odone's battle to help his son Lorenzo was depicted in a 1992 movie, "Lorenzo's Oil," with Nick Nolte playing the elder Odone.

Lorenzo was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy, a neurological disease, when he was 6. Doctors predicted he would die in childhood. But Augusto and his wife Michaela relentlessly sought treatment.

Augusto Odone taught himself enough science to formulate a concoction derived from natural cooking oils for Lorenzo. Studies later suggested the oil appears to delay symptoms.

Lorenzo died in 2008 at age 30.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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