by Tiffany Sweeney

He wouldn’t walk if it wasn’t for Shriners.

Mandy Brumwell speaks with passion about her son, Grant, and his experiences with Shriners Hospital for Children; however, when she speaks it is more than just the fact that Grant can walk. Shriners has provided her son with opportunities that she never thought possible, and her gratefulness for this organization radiates.

Grant, now 12, was born with bilateral clubbed feet. At only 8 months old, Grant underwent his first surgery, a bilateral heel cord lengthening on both feet. He then went on to a multitude of casts, orthotics, and braces for years. In September 2019, he again had surgery on his right foot. Thanks to Shriners care, Grant was able to do more than walk; he was able to play basketball, a game that he loves, and serve as a Shriners Patient Ambassador, opening up opportunities that his mom could never have imagined on that fateful day when she learned of her son’s condition at her 22-week ultrasound.

Shriners Hospital recently opened an Outreach Clinic in Kalispell, and another is set to open in Helena in the near future to help our kids right here in Montana, but many still travel to Spokane or other locations to receive the care they need for orthopedics, burns, and cleft palates.

Our local Shriners group hosts a variety of fundraisers for children’s care in our own community, from the Annual Montana East-West Shrine Football Game to the Jordan Circus. Thanks to this organization, Mandy has yet to receive a bill for Grant’s care through Shriners Hospital, and they receive assistance through a travel fund to help with transportation and related costs to Spokane; however, it is not just the financial aspect that has impacted Mandy and her son. They are welcomed by staff like Coco, Grant’s favorite nurse, with open arms, kind words, and a personal greeting every time. They are not just another patient being treated; they are family.

For more information on the local Shriners, how to get involved, or the travel fund available, call (406) 868-9315.

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