Smile comes with a cost for much loved Owen

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Denise S. Cahill

TO look at smil­ing, gig­gling Owen DiCandilo (2) it is hard to be­lieve he was never sup­posed to show emotion.

But in­ten­sive ther­apy with the Neu­ro­log­i­cal And Phys­i­cal Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Ther­apy Cen­tre (NAPA) has proved the di­ag­no­sis wrong.

Owen was di­ag­nosed with a rare brain mal­for­ma­tion called Lissencephaly – which causes spas­tic quadriplegic cere­bral palsy, cor­ti­cal vi­sion im­pair­ment, epilepsy ten­den­cies and global de­vel­op­ment de­lay – when he was three months old.

The in­ten­sive ther­apy pro­vided by NAPA costs $12,500 for a three-week ses­sion.

Owen’s par­ents Taryn and Vin­cent DiCandilo com­pleted one round in Mel­bourne last April and have another booked for Novem­ber when the Los An­ge­les-based NAPA ther­a­pists re­turn to Mel­bourne. Next year, they will travel to LA. To help fund the in­ten­sive ther­apy, the DiCandi­los and their friends will host the OJD Gala this Fri­day at Perth Convention and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre.

Cottes­loe jew­eller Scott Broadley has do­nated a ring worth $5500 as a raf­fle prize.

The Broadley’s Fine Jewellery owner said the ring fea­tured a 1.62ct black di­a­mond sur­rounded by white bril­liant cut di­a­monds in a mod­ern set­ting.

Mr Broadley said the piece took about 12 hours to com­plete and was worth ev­ery minute.

“I’ve seen what the treat­ment Owen gets does to him: it helps him smile and walk,” he said.

Mrs DiCandilo said Owen had be­come more en­gaged since the in­ten­sive treat­ment and the next ses­sions would fo­cus on teach­ing him to chew and help­ing him be­come in­de­pen­dent in his walker.

In LA, Owen will re­ceive treat­ment in a hy­per­baric oxy­gen cham­ber and use a Neu­roSuite that will help build his re­sis­tance.

While the NAPA treat­ment pro­vided the best re­sults, Owen’s ther­a­pies at the Abil­ity Cen­tre and with Clare­mont pae­di­atric phys­io­ther­a­pist Tris­ton Hunter were vi­tal.

Mrs DiCandilo said a Bet­ter Start grant helped cover some ther­a­pies but of­ten ran out half­way through the year, mean­ing the fam­ily then had to cover costs.

Tris­ton will travel to LA in Novem­ber to train with the NAPA ther­a­pists.

Raf­fle tick­ets for the $5500 black di­a­mond ring are avail­able at https://owen­james­di­can­­ets/ and House of Riches, Cottes­loe.

Pic­ture: Andrew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d460367

Jew­eller Scott Broadley with Owen DiCandilo and mum Taryn with the piece of jewellery that will be auc­tioned.

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