“On Friday, October 23, 13-year-old Mohamad (Moe Salloum) was diagnosed with mixed phenotype acute leukemia,” says Moe’s Brave Battle, which is a fundraising Facebook group. By Nov. 2, there were almost a dozen Slave Lake business, a local school, and individual fundraising for Moe S. throughout the month of November.
“I wasn’t expecting it to blow up so fast,” says Rima Mouallem, Mohamad’s mom. She thought it would just be the Lebanese sweets bake sale at the Moonlight Madness farmer’s market.
Doctors figure the next nine months are critical, she says, but it may take up to two-and-a-half years for Mohamad to fully recover. For the first nine months for sure, possibly a full year, Rima won’t be able to work. Her ex-husband is around, and she has support from her three daughters, son-in-laws, and other family members.
“I was born and raised in Slave Lake,” says Rima. “My son grew up in Slave Lake, too.” Last year, they moved to Edmonton, which has made treatment much easier.
Mohamad Salloum is a cousin, says Moe Mouallem, co-owner of Alimos Pizzaria in Slave Lake. The restaurant has a couple of fundraisers and has already raised $2,000.
On his own, Moe M. is selling NHL socks, both online and at the Moonlight Madness farmer’s market. Orders can also be made at Alimos.
Dog Island Brewery is doing a traditional ‘Movember,’ growing moustaches and beards, but calling it Moe-vember and donating to Moe instead of the normal prostate cancer fundraiser.
While in Slave Lake, Moe S. attended E.G. Wahlstrom Elementary School .
“Once an Eagle, always an Eagle,” says the E.G. Wahlstrom #Moevember Facebook post. Wahlstrom is also getting into the spirit, with the men growing facial hair in November and dying at the end of the month whichever colour Moe S. picks.
Also doing fundraisers in Slave Lake are Hair F/X, the local Aerobonne dealer, Robbie’s Barber, Susan’s Kitchen (in the MRC), Sunset Gourmet, B.B. Waxing and Esthetics and possibly others.