Two-year-old Mila Owenby, daughter of Sheila and Brett Owenby, a member of Fire Fighters Local 2665, has been struggling with a rare illness that primarily attacks her muscle strength. For nearly a year, the family has struggled to find a diagnosis and a way to keep their daughter strong.
Mila is a happy go-lucky baby, but one day at about nine months old when Sheila Owenby, a nurse at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, noticed her daughter’s unusual movements. She was taken to the hospital and diagnoses a genetic disorder.
“I don’t know how I dealt with it. I don’t think we had time to feel any certain way. We’re just making sure she gets the care she needs,” Brett Owenby said. “Once we got the diagnosis, we got emotional, but we have a lot of support through our family.”
“We’re doing maintenance care to help keep her muscle strength,” Sheila Owenby said. “We’re constantly fighting with the insurance company to keep getting her the physical therapy she needs.”
For now, the family’s insurance has only approved 25 therapy sessions per year, but the Owenbys have petitioned the insurance company over time for more therapy.
“Since she started therapy she is able to walk with a walker. When she first went to the hospital she wasn’t able to move at all,” Brett Owenby said. “She can roll over and reposition herself now. She’s always been a happy baby and always carries a smile.”
The Owenbys have received support from family, friends, Sheila’s fellow nurses at Cardinal Glennon and fellow Local 2665 fire fighter members, but the cost of therapy is overwhelming and the Owenbys need help to provide the physical therapy their insurance company refuses to cover.
You can help a fellow union brother and his family by attending an evening benefiting Mila Owenby, hosted by Smash and Vince. Music by DJ “Big Willy Cha Cha” from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Warrenton Elk’s Lodge No. 2662, 1101 Veteran’s Memorial Parkway in Warrenton.
The adults only event is $10 per person and includes a cash bar. You can bring your own snacks, but no outside alcohol is permitted. The evening will include music, dancing, a live auction, raffles and 50/50s.
Donations may be sent to Mila’s Benefit, American Bank of Missouri, 690 N Service Rd., Wright City, MO 63390. Checks can be may payable to Colleen McDonald, with “Mila’s Fundraiser” in the memo line.