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Mallory Smith passed away in 2017 after living with cystic fibrosis since age three, leaving behind an inspiring, life-affirming memoir that celebrates a life exceptionally well lived.
Despite her diagnosis, Mallory Smith grew up to be a determined, talented young woman who inspired others even as she privately raged against her illness. For more than 10 years, Mallory recorded her thoughts about struggles too personal to share during her life, leaving instructions for her mother to publish her work posthumously. What emerges is a powerful portrait of a brave young woman and blossoming writer who did not allow herself to be defined by disease.
Much of what Mallory writes about her illness parallels our daily reality during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the precautionary health protocols that are now commonplace to the respiratory symptoms that those who are infected are experiencing, as well as the value of resilience and community in offsetting the toll on mental health. As there is currently no cure for either end-stage lung disease or COVID-19, Mallory’s story sets the stage for timely discussions about legacy, bioethics, and end-of-life choices.