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We are here to help people with CF get the insurance coverage they need. Hear how the Foundation helped the Cox family.

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In the Spotlight

Mallory Smith

Mallory Smith, 20, who has CF, believes in dreaming big. She hopes her story will inspire others with CF to follow their own dreams.

Mallory Smith

Mallory Smith, who was diagnosed with CF at age 3, has always loved the outdoors — especially the ocean.

Born and raised in California, Mallory’s annual family vacations to Hawaii allowed her to develop a passion for the environment at an early age. She learned how to swim when she was just a toddler. When she was 5, her father taught her how to dive under the waves and listen to whales singing in the distance.

“When my family would go to Hawaii, I would spend the entire day in the ocean, just listening to whales. The oceanic climate was so therapeutic for me, it was as if I didn’t have cystic fibrosis,” Mallory said. “Research eventually came out that hypertonic saline — a salt-water solution — helps the lungs and everything started to make sense.”

For Mallory, those defining moments helped make her who she is today — a junior at Stanford University, majoring in human biology with a concentration in environmental anthropology.

Mallory surfing

Mallory, left, has always loved she ocean, in part, because of the therapeutic benefits of its salty water. Mallory learned to swim when she was a toddler and spends as much time as she can taking in the beauty of California’s coastline.

Following her Dreams

Mallory, now 20, spent much of her childhood and teen years in and out of the hospital, missing as many as 40 days of school in a single semester due to complications from cystic fibrosis. Despite the hospitalizations, time-consuming treatments and hours of make-up work, Mallory graduated from high school with a 4.3 GPA.

When she first thought about attending college, she wasn’t sure Stanford was the right school for her. She applied on a whim, knowing the university had an excellent cystic fibrosis clinic on its campus.

“Whenever I had severe complications growing up, I would go to Stanford University Medical Center,” Mallory said. “Because my health is so unpredictable, it’s important that I have access to high-quality care, and I knew Stanford could provide that.”

Between classes, homework, social activities, exercising and making time for three rounds of breathing treatments each day, her schedule can be daunting, but Mallory is determined to reach her goals.

“I’ve always loved the ocean, so when I found majors related to Earth sciences, I knew that was what I wanted to go into,” Mallory said. “Stanford’s small class sizes and its cystic fibrosis center are helping me pursue my dreams.”

Upon graduating, she hopes to use her degree to help protect the environment she cares so deeply about.

Mallory Stanford

Mallory, center, is studying human biology with a concentration in environmental anthropology at Stanford University. She hopes to use her degree to help protect the world’s oceans.

Giving Back

Mallory credits her success to a strong support system. She’s from a tight-knit community in Beverly Hills, Calif. where everyone knows her name and that she has CF. Each year, friends and neighbors come together for a fundraiser Mallory’s family started in 1995 — An Evening in Mallory’s Garden.

The event, which features live and silent auctions, has generated more than $2.5 million to help support the mission of the CF Foundation.

“We want the fundraiser to feel like a fun Saturday night with friends because that’s really what it is. I know every single person there,” Mallory said. “The Foundation has done so much for me and the CF community, and this is our way of giving back.”

Until a cure is found, Mallory hopes her life will inspire others with CF to pursue dreams of their own.

“The advancements I’ve seen in my lifetime have been incredible; people with this disease can do anything they put their minds to,” Mallory said. “The key is to be consistent with treatments, exercising, eating right and sleeping. I would encourage anyone with CF to dream big.”

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.