EKO Scholar Owen DiManno

“Never take life for granted. Live life to the fullest and enjoy every day.” Owen

Many words are used to describe Owen DiManno, but none more often than resilient. An accomplished and inspiring advocate for people with disabilities, Owen has taken a life-altering experience to become passionately committed to make a difference for others.

A pediatric stroke survivor, Owen knows first-hand how life can change in an instant. After surviving emergency brain surgery and eight days in a coma, he spent five months in hospital where he had to learn to eat, talk and walk again. It was here he realized how strong he was, both mentally and physically, and where he was inspired to pursue his chosen career. Meeting so many incredible young people in the rehabilitation hospital with different abilities inspired him to one day work in a hospital setting to help kids like himself.

Described as gracious, outgoing, positive, generous and optimistic, Owen takes nothing for granted and appreciates every day and connection he makes. He is grateful for the amazing opportunities he has embraced since his injury, including volunteering at The Hospital for Sick Children, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, ParaSport Ontario and as a teen mentor at Grandview Children’s Centre.

Dedicated to educating people about pediatric strokes, Owen promotes ongoing awareness on his personal blog and served as a junior board member for the Achieving Beyond Brain Injury Charitable Foundation. He also volunteered for multiple clinical research projects to help other children and families who have experienced what he did.

An accomplished athlete, Owen has recently started golfing and has rediscovered his passion for sports. He is especially proud to have graduated with honours, and his awards for helping his community, for resilience and leadership. For Owen, the EKO scholarship shows that people of all abilities can achieve important honours like this and he is very grateful.

Owen is now studying developmental services at Durham College, with plans to become a developmental services and recreation therapy worker in a hospital or rehabilitation setting.

Read about EKO Scholar Evan McDonald