I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. My name Is Mallory Hicks, but my nickname is Mook. I am 33 years old. I was born with a terminal illness called, Cystic Fibrosis. It is a progressive genetic disease that effects your entire body, but it primarily causes persistent lung infections, lung damage, and in many cases lung failure. I was one of the first babies to be diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis in the womb at Vanderbilt Medical Center. I was born premature along with my twin brother. Before I was even a day old, I underwent extensive surgeries and stayed in the NICU for 4 months. During this time there were countless miracles that the doctors could not explain.
The nurses dressed me up in cabbage patch doll dresses every chance they could get. I still believe this is when my love for ruffles and sparkle must have been born.
I grew up fairly healthy considering my disease. It wasn’t until high school that my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with a rare mycobacterium growing in my already impaired CF lungs. I became sick more often than not. I hemorrhaged up blood from my lungs on a regular basis and lived in constant fear of my life. I was on IV medication my entire senior year of high school. I had to have a home bound teacher come to my house so I could finish out my senior year. I made it back for graduation, so at least it felt final. God healed me once again, and I was able meet the love of my life during this chaos. He was my high school sweetheart and is now my husband of 12 years.
I attended a community college since my disease really dictated my life. Being close to home was extremely important. I pushed through and was able to get my Associate of Science degree. Shortly after, I was married and trying for a baby. The doctors recommended I not get pregnant due to the difficulty of conceiving as well as the pregnancy risk factors, but being a mother was a calling for me. So, we prayed about it and we were blessed with a growing baby boy in no time. God is so good! A few years later, I was able to fulfill another lifelong dream of mine. It sounds silly, but life is short so why not have the things you have always dreamed of having, Right? So we added a precious little pink piglet to our family. The little girl inside of me could barely contain her excitement.
My health has been at critical places throughout my adult life, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sounds cliché, but it is true. My disease has made me treasure every moment of life. I am grateful, and when you are grateful life is unbelievably more beautiful to you. It is impossible to know the truest level of happiness without experiencing its opposite, true sadness.
Today I am God’s child, a wife, a mother, a miniature pig owner, and a fighter for life.
I am currently participating in the life changing triple combination therapy drug study! With these new study drugs in the pipeline I am looking forward to the future for one of the first times in my life!