Mallory suffers from Rasmussen's Encephalitis and has undergone life-saving operations. Rasmussen’s encephalitis is a rare, chronic inflammatory disease that usually affects only one hemisphere of the brain. It occurs in children under the age of 10 (and more rarely in adolescents and adults), and is characterized by frequent and severe seizures, loss of motor skills and speech, paralysis on one side of the body (hemiparesis), inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), and mental deterioration.
Most individuals with Rasmussen’s encephalitis will experience frequent seizures and brain damage over the course of the first 8 to 12 months, and then enter a phase of permanent, but stable, neurological deficits. Scientists currently think that Rasmussen’s encephalitis is an autoimmune disease in which immune system cells enter the brain and cause inflammation and damage.
Mallory Mashburn contracted Rasmussen's Encephalitis at the age of 5 and began having seizures. In a short amount of time, the number of seizures that Mallory was suffering from ranged from 75 to 200 seizures a day. Mallory’s mom and dad, Gene and Tiffany were forced to make the very painful decision to try a possible life saving surgery, in which the right side of her brain was removed & which would leave their young daughter suffering the same effects as that of a stroke patient.
After Mallory’s surgery and months of extensive inpatient therapy to help her learn to speak and walk again, she is finally seizure free but Mallory will require therapy and assistive devices for the rest of her life.
Mallory has not let the physical challenges she deals with on a daily basis stop her from participating in her love of hunting. In 2012 Mallory began a quest to be the first physically challenged youth to score a turkey grand slam.
She traveled with the WWWO crew to Tampa, Fl. March 22, 2012 to begin the first leg of her journey and killed her Oseola. In April WWWO flew her to Nebraska to hunt for the Rio and Merrium species which she completed in one weekend!
Mallory returned home to Mississipi and in May traveled to Tennessee where she finished with a bang on a great Eastern and therefore making her dream to become indeed a reality!
Mallory continues to amaze and inspire us on a regular basis and we are proud to have her as part of the Woods, Wheels & Water Outdoors family.
We hope that her story of overcoming physical challenges will inspire others who are facing their own challenges to dare to DREAM BIG and go out and make their dreams come true!
Thanks for sharing Greg! God bless you!
Lisa Crawford, WWWO Secretary/BOD