Shrine Club donates to McMullan family

May 6, 2022, 2:47 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Moosomin Shrine Club donated $3,000 to the McMullan family to help cover their travel expenses going to Toronto, as they go see a surgeon for the two boys. From left are Myles Fuchs, Shane, Calloway, Nicolette McMullan and Greg Gillespie.

The Moosomin Shrine Club presented $3,000 to the McMullan family of Moosomin, to help cover their travel expenses for seeing a surgeon in Toronto.

“We’re going down to Toronto for a week and a half, both boys are going to see an excellent surgeon down there,” said Nicolette McMullan.
“This will be Calloway’s second time seeing the surgeon and Liam’s first surgery.”

Both of Shane and Nicolette McMullan’s sons, Calloway and Liam, were born with a bi-lateral cleft palate.

Calloway has already received five surgeries and his family says he will end up facing multiple surgeries into early adulthood.

The Shriners originally sent Calloway to a Shrine Hospital for treatment, and now he is seeing a specialist in Toronto, outside the Shrine system, so the local Shrine Club decided to donate to help with travel expenses.

Nicolette spoke about how the Shriners donation will help their family.

“In February of 2020 is the first time the Shriners helped, as well. For this trip, the four of us have to fly there, we’re staying at an Airbnb close to the hospital because the boys have to be there pretty early in the morning,” she said.

“This donation will cover majority of those two costs so that when we’re in Toronto, it’s just the cost of getting around and meals.

“It’s such a relief, when we were pregnant with Liam we didn’t know right off the bat and because the severity of clefts can differ, you can have a mild cleft, it can just be the lip or unilateral, which is less severe.

“They tell us that Liam’s is on the most severe end, it’s bi-lateral, it’s complete, and the part of your gum that holds your two front teeth is called the premaxilla, his was pushed out and twisted.

“That we weren’t anticipating, so we’ve also had the expenses of going up to Saskatoon about 12 times and staying in hotels to get consultations for it.”
Shane said he was also born with a cleft palate and received his last surgery at 25.

“Hopefully with going to Toronto, that will avoid some of these other surgeries for the boys,” said Shane.

He said they’re prepared for Calloway and Liam to have more surgeries in the nearby future, but depending on how their mouths develop over the years, can possibly reduce the number of procedures needed.

Calloway will be seeing the surgeon in Toronto to have an upper and lower lip revision, and Liam will be receiving his first surgery for an “upper lip repair.”

“Liam is wearing what they call a NAM (nasoalveolar molding) appliance, so after when we go on this trip, he won’t need that appliance,” said Shane.
The NAM appliance currently holds Liam’s gums together.

The surgeries that Calloway and Liam will be doing are about three to four hours long.

How Shriner’s connected with McMullan family
Nicolette spoke about how she was first contacted by the Moosomin Shrine Club.

“Calloway was just six months old or so, and I just happened to see Bill at a flu clinic, he noticed the cleft on Calloway and he approached us,” Nicolette said.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get the results we wanted from the surgeon in Regina here, so we were looking to find another one and there are amazing surgeons that mainly do cleft surgeries.

“We went down to Chicago with the Shriners as a consultation, and when we were down there, the surgeon actually said that he wasn’t super confident that he would be able to fix the issue that was happening to Calloway, so he was the one who sent us back to Toronto.”

Nicolette said she was informed that the surgeon in Toronto, is one of the best doctors for performing cleft surgeries in the country.

“He was really understanding, he did an amazing job fixing it, he said he would keep us on his patients list, which has been nice,” she said.

The Moosomin Shrine Club was glad the consultation went well in Chicago.

“The fact that we initially sent them through the Shrine system and they have some of the best doctors in the world but, for this surgeon to say I’m not the best but I’ll send you to the best, that gave me a new respect for those guys, said Moosomin Shrine Club president Greg Gillespie.

“We’re still trying to help the McMullans, even though they’re not in the Shrine system we’re trying to give as much support as we can.”

Through fundraising events, the Moosomin Shrine Club is able to help support families in the community, such as the McMullan and Jamieson families.

The Shriners have also helped Levi Jamieson access experts at Shrine Hospitals since he was involved in at ATV accident last winter, which caused him to lose the use of his legs.

The Jamiesons had their initial visit to the Shrine Hospital in Philadelphia, where they worked with orthopedic specialists and physiotherapists.

The Shrine Concert is one of two major fundraising events the club hosts, the other is the Shrine Rose Day.

Gillespie said Shrine Rose Day will be happening in the month of May.