At 15 months old, Mallory started having severe seizures that would last anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours. Mallory’s mom, Belinda, had to keep rescue medication on hand. She underwent her first brain surgery in first grade with good results that lasted until Mallory's Junior High year, when her seizures re-appeared. She was given different medications to control her seizures, which were successful for a short period until her body adapted to it. The cycle went on and on until her Senior year in High School.
“During her Senior year, we were forced to home school because she begun having a seizure or migraine daily. She became depressed,” recollected Belinda. “I was sad, it was my Senior year and I didn’t get to dress up for Halloween, or attend Homecoming with all of my friends,” said Mallory. While in Ohio, during a testing, her social worker approached them about applying for a wish. “We had no idea that she could even qualify for a wish,” stated Belinda. “The idea of a wish, gave her something to look forward. She became excited because she loved to surf and really looked up to Bethany Hamilton.” Bethany Hamilton is an American Professional Surfer who survived a shark attack in 2003, she lost her arm but ultimately returned to the sport. According to Mallory, “Years before, when I first watched the movie Soul Surfer at my best friend’s house, I was awe of the strength Bethany had. I thought about everything that Bethany had been through and how she had the strength to get back on the board, I instantly became a big fan of hers because she never quit or gave up. I really liked her determination,” reflected Mallory. Mallory has a lot in common with Bethany, she has had to dig deep for the strength and determination to fight her illness and she has had to learn multiple times to get back up. Her healthy eating lifestyle is another thing she and Bethany have in common. She has not only read Bethany’s devotion books, but has also tried many of recipes from Bethany’s cook books.
This past November, Mallory's wish was granted. She attended a surf camp in Hawaii with Bethany.
“I really wanted to meet Bethany and I always wanted to learn to surf, so this trip was definitely a trip of a life-time!” For the first day of the trip, surf instructors helped Mallory learn correct form and how to stand up on the board. By the end of the first day and well into the second, Mallory was standing on the board by herself. “The best part of the trip…"declared Mallory, "was meeting Bethany and her whole family. I sat on a couch, on the beach and talked with Bethany and her family. Her family included her husband, son, mom, dad, two brothers and nieces and nephews. It was so cool that Bethany had a surf board and asked me to sign it. The board is special to Bethany, many wish kids have signed it over the years.”
Mallory is currently attending Jones Community College. She isn’t sure at this point what she wants to do for a career, but she would love to be a handler for service dogs and add joy to people like her, in hospitals.