Private Project

Menkes Disease: Finding Help & Hope

Academy Award nominee Mary McDonnell narrates this look at a rare fatal genetic disorder called Menkes Disease. It prevents boys from metabolizing copper. Boys who get treatment in the first ten days of life can have long and relatively normally lives. If the disease is not detected and treated that early their lives are much shorter and far from normal. This short documentary aims to explain some of the basics of the disease and treatment but also provide context with examples from three families across the globe showing that there is life after this terrible diagnosis. And that life is more joyful and hopeful than you might expect.

  • Daniel DeFabio
  • Jan Broberg Carter
  • Mary McDonnell
    Dances with Wolves, Passion Fish, Battlestar Galactica, Major Crimes
  • Adam Belanoff
    Narration Supervisor
    The Closer, Major Crimes, Murphy Brown, Wings
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Medical, Science, Health, genetics, Rare Disorders
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 27, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Australia, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival
    Austin, TX
    November 7, 2015
    Best Documentary
  • Ballston Spa Film Festival
    Ballston Spa, NY
    August 7, 2015
    US festival premeire
  • Culver City Film Festival
    Culver City
    United States
    December 6, 2015
  • Sanford IFF
    Sandford Maine
    United States
    May 26, 2016
  • Disorder: The Rare Disease Film Festival
    October 2, 2017
Director Biography - Daniel DeFabio

DeFabio spends most of his work life making videos and TV commercialss for live performances by reality TV personalities such as the Cake Boss, Theresa Caputo, and Dinosaur Train Live. His motion graphics work has been seen on TNT's The Closer and HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. He was the co-writer and co-producer of the first ever animated web series. In 2008 he founded the Ballston Spa Film Festival. He has written for Geek Magazine, Boing Boing,, The

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Director Statement

As the father of a boy with Menkes Disease, this is Daniel's most personal and important film. His only previous documentary covered the healing spas in Ballston Spa, NY in 1804