LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Tennessee beauty queen battling a life-long disease called Cystic Fibrosis has come to Little Rock to share her story with children and meet one of her young fans.
Mallory Hicks, 33, author of “Beauty and the Disease” a children’s book.
The story is about a little girl with CF and the day-to-day struggles of living with the disease.
“I thought I need to write a book so that it’s you know related to children but that they can see that you can go through a hard time you can have rough moments but that you can still come out on the other side as a healthy adult,” explains Hicks.
Hicks competed in the Mrs. Tennessee America Pageant after almost suffering a near-death experience.
“I am living proof and I want to show these kids that life can be beautiful,” says Hicks.
Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease that affects your entire body, but it primarily causes persistent lung infections, lung damage, and in many cases lung failure.
People with CF must be kept a minimum of six feet apart in the United States because cross-infection is dangerous and can lead to death.
This week, Hicks drove from Tennesee to Arkansas to meet young children and did a book signing and reading for them at Book Warehouse in Little Rock.
There she also met with other people with Cystic Fibrosis (but had to stay at least six feet apart at all times) who were happy to hear about her journey.
Tabitha Lenox brought her 5-year-old daughter, Makenzie, who has CF and is a fan of the book.
Lenox says the book can sometimes make her emotional because she knows that it makes her daughter smile.
“Being able to see and read that someone in a book is like her makes her smile,” says Lenox. “She thinks Mallory is a real-life princess because she wears a crown in the book.”
“It makes me happy,” says Hicks. “Smiling truly is the best medicine.”
A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go back to help the CF Foundation.
For more information about the book, click here.