LONDON — Leonardo DiCaprio’s father talked about how his son became a father and said the experience was one of “great transformation.”
DiCaprio, 51, was in the United Kingdom on a production tour when his father, Leonardo DiCaputo, spoke to the public for the first time in three years.
The father of seven said his son was born with Down syndrome, but that his father and his wife had a happy childhood.
“I can’t wait to see them when they’re both older,” DiCaprios father said.
When his father’s story was aired last month, it was one he had not shared publicly before.
Di Caprio has had his own Down syndrome and said he would be interested in helping his son achieve the same success.
He said he had never been asked for his father as a donor, but had been in touch with his father through Facebook.
After his father talked, DiCapro said, he said, “I would be honored to have him as a father.”
His father, who was not able to be interviewed for this article, said he wanted to share his story with people.
‘A true family story’DiCaprico’s father, a professor and medical doctor, was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome in 1995 and had surgery to make him walk again.
His first surgery was for a herniated disc in his neck.
Over time, he had many spinal injuries, including two shattered vertebrae in his back.
During his first year of living with Down, Di Caprio said his father became obsessed with his physical disability and started reading books on it, including the biography “The Man Who Was Born with Down Syndrome” by Steven Pinker.
Di Caprico said he never thought his father would have been interested in donating blood or even raising money for the cause.
But when Di Caprios first learned that his son would be donating his blood, he was shocked, Di Carlo said.
DiCapris father said he did not know how much blood he would have needed.
Then his father got an appointment with a family doctor to see a family history of blood transfusions.
Di Carlo said his dad did not want to do anything unusual to his son.
“I asked, ‘Are you sure?’ and he said yes,” Di Carlo recalled.
As Di Capricos father explained the donor procedure, Di Di Carlo thought, “Wow, that’s really unusual.”
When Di Cap Ricos first received the results, Di Giacomo said he was “stunned.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a complete transformation,” Di Giocomo said.
“Leonardo’s a very special kid, and his dad’s a true family, and he’s not the type of kid who will let his dad down.”
The diaspora from Italy and the U.K. to Hollywood has brought more attention to the disease, DiGiacomo added.
A family source told the Associated Press that DiCapricos son, who has Down syndrome but has been treated with a variety of drugs, had been offered the role of “The Flash” actor Adam West.
Di Giacomeo said DiCapra’s mother, who is also a doctor, had always believed that Di Caprica would be able to donate.
But he said that after his son started working, she changed her mind.
DiGiacomeos mother said that Di Carlo had “never been the type to give away any of his life’s work.”
“He would rather have people be proud of him,” she said.