TO look at smiling, giggling Owen DiCandilo (2) it is hard to believe he was never supposed to show emotion.
However, 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 engaging 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 half way 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://owenjamesdicandilo.com/ojdgala/buy-tickets/ and House of Riches, Cottesloe.