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Desperate Choices: To Save My Child (1992)

When a young girl is diagnosed with leukemia, her father and stepmother must decide if they should risk their son's life by exploring his potentiality as a bone marrow donor.


Andy Tennant


Sandra Jennings (story), Sandra Jennings (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joanna Kerns ... Mel Robbins
Bruce Davison ... Richard Robbins
Joseph Mazzello ... Willy Robbins (as Joe Mazzello)
Jeremy Sisto ... Josh Ryan
Bruce McGill ... Dan Ryan
Steven Gilborn ... Dr. Andrews
Rondi Reed
Ron Canada
Reese Witherspoon ... Cassie Robbins
J.D. Hall ... Coach Watson
Phillip C. Curry ... Judge Bloom (as Phillip Curry)
William Newman ... Dr. Edwards
Debby Shively Debby Shively ... Angela Vincente
Larry Brandenburg ... Ed Foster
Shaun Duke ... Benny (as Duke Moosekian)


Sixteen-year-old Cassie Robbins is a spirited teenage girl, who loves her father Richard and stepmother Mel and dotes on her six-year-old half-brother Willy. But her carefree, happy life is forever changed when she is diagnosed with leukemia and her only hope of a cure lies in a bone-marrow transplant. However, when Willy proves to be a match, Mel is not-so-willing to allow her young son to undergo surgery as he nearly died the last time he was operated on after reacting badly to the anesthetic. Mel and Richard now have to decide if it's right to risk the life of one of their children to save the life of the other child, and of Willy's own rights in deciding if he should help the sister he worships. Written by Melissa J

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In order to save your dying daughter, could you risk losing your only son? See more »




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Did You Know?


Among the titles considered for this movie were: "A Rock and a Hard Place" and "To Have Our Cake". See more »


References E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

User Reviews

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8 March 2004 | by sher5764See all my reviews

This film was incredible. I was only 7 when it came out and I recorded it from tv and I just watched it again now, 11 years later. It's so much more than a sappy disease movie. It really makes you think about what you would have to do in their situation. It describes the situation between the step-mother, the father, and the brother. A huge part of the movie is whether or not they will allow their son to be a bone marrow donor. The whole time, I sided with the father, because the risks were small that he would be affected by it and he shouldn't have to grow up knowing that he could have saved his sister's life. A+++ I guarantee it to anyone who doesn't mind crying.

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Release Date:

5 October 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desperate Choices: To Save My Child See more »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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