“She wanted to work in environmental education but the field work she would be doing was too risky for her health, her doctors told her not to” said Diane Shader Smith, mother of Mallory Smith, during an emotional and groundbreaking talk in the LSB Auditorium on April 8, 2019.
Diane came to speak about her daughter, Mallory Smith, who lived with cystic fibrosis and a life-taking superbug. Before her death at just twenty-five years of age, Mallory lived a remarkable life full of positivity and passion. Mallory’s book Salt in My Soul consists of Mallory’s journal entries about everything in her life, ranging from friendship to her anger towards her insurance company. “She did not let anyone read her diaries until she passed, and when I opened them up she had over 2,500 pages of meaningful notes” Diane explained.
The event, directed by Dr. Eric Strauss was meaningful to the LMU Center for Urban Resilience and the University as a whole. Mallory’s story demonstrates the uniqueness of human biology, the positives and the negatives of U.S. healthcare, and the intensity of individual resilience.
Diane Smith highlighted Mallory’s journey in a presentation and slide show with a reception following. “The event provided a beautiful space where science, hope, and courage came together as the story of an extraordinary journey for mother and daughter” said Dr. Strauss.
Lisa Fimiani who received the inaugural Dan and Susan Gottlieb Environmental Leaders Fellowship with Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Urban Resilience, got to know Mallory while Mallory was working on Susan Gottlieb’s book: The Gottlieb Native Garden, A California Love Story. After attending the event Lisa said, “The LMU community and the Center for Urban Resilience community can take away so much from the remarkable resilience of this young lady. In the face of a debilitating disease, Mallory attempted to lead as normal a life as she could, experiencing all the things young people want in life, despite being hooked up to machines and taking detours to hospitals on a regular basis. If ever there was an example of human resilience, Mallory would define that definition!”
You can buy Salt In My Soul here. All proceeds go to phage therapy.