Letting him just be a kid

How Gritman has helped 11-year-old Troy boy living with rare condition

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Rielynn McCall exercises with Joe Vandal at Gritman’s Cardiac Rehab.

About 100 people in the world are living with mosaic triploidy.

Eleven-year-old Troy resident Rielynn McCall, son of Madison and Kyle McCall, is a member of that group.

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Rielynn is shown with his two brothers and parents, Madison and Kyle McCall.

His mother, Madison McCall, says his condition is “one of those things that just occurs on a fluke.”

In a normal and healthy fetus, cells contain 46 chromosomes, half inherited from the mother and half from the father. Triploidy occurs when a fetus gets an extra set of chromosomes from a parent, resulting in a total of 69 chromosomes. Full triploidy always leads to death, often by miscarriage. The babies that survive birth rarely live more than a few days.

But children born with mosaic triploidy – like Rielynn – can survive. These children have some cells with 46 chromosomes and others 69.

For Rielynn, his condition has led to developmental delays, physical complications, hearing loss and issues with speech, among other symptoms. But, overall, his mother says, Rielynn is a “pretty happy camper” and has the same interests and hobbies as most boys his age.

Rielynn, however, does need extra help. During the summer he attends speech, occupational and physical therapies at Gritman Medical Center’s Therapy Solutions. The remainder of the year Rielynn is able to benefit from those same therapies at school in Troy thanks to a partnership between Gritman and area school districts.

While he enjoys those sessions, the real fun comes with Gritman’s Enabling Explorers with disABILITY.

Rielynn and brothers

The program is led by Gritman physical therapist Lori Mages and provides children with disabilities the opportunity to participate in programs and activities like rafting, golfing, hiking, biking, ice skating and golf to help build confidence, strength, endurance, balance, coordination and social skills. (Read more: Lori Mages recently discussed the Enabling Explorers with disABILITY program.)

“The group that Lori has put together gives these kids a chance to just be kids, and that really can’t be overstated,” Madison said. “Being able to get these kids and families out and giving them the opportunity to do typical every day type things is something that you can’t even assign a value to. It has been a wonderful blessing. It has given us a lot of really fond memories.”

And it helps that the program emphasizes involving the entire family in activities.

“That has been really fun because we get to participate as a family and he gets to do it with his brothers,” she said. “I am just one person with three littles, and Rielynn needs some extra help, so being able to get all of them out at the same time and participating in those active events is really special. He has just thrived.”

Madison says Lori has played a major role in Rielynn’s success, both through Enabling Explorers with disABILITY and in her role as a physical therapist at Gritman.

“I just can’t praise Lori enough — she has been such a blessing to our family,” Madison said. “She has seen Rielynn through it all. She started at the beginning when Rielynn wasn’t even able to stand up independently and now he walks on his own. She has seen us through everything.”

Madison can’t be sure what the future holds, so her No. 1 goal is a simple one.

“Any set of circumstances that is outside of the norm has its own challenges, and Rielynn’s is a very special case. There isn’t anyone who can tell us what to expect or how things are going to pan out,” she said. “Both my husband, Kyle, and I, our focus has just been on providing Rielynn the most inclusive experience and making sure that he is happy and healthy.”

To help support the Enabling Explorers with disABILITY program, go to gritman.org/foundation.

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Rielynn participates in a cooking event with Gritman’s Enabling Explorers with disABILITY.
Rielynn and family
Rielynn and his family cheer on the Cougars at a Washington State University football game.