Diane Shader Smith on Her Daughter’s Legacy

My daughter is gone but her legacy lives on through her writing and phage therapy

By Diane Shader Smith

“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?”

That line from the musical “Hamilton” inspires me to keep telling the story of my daughter Mallory. She died two years ago Friday at the age of 25, two months after receiving a transplant to replace both of her lungs, which had been ravaged by cystic fibrosis and an infection that no drugs could eradicate.

Mallory was a prolific and gifted writer. In addition to works published as a journalist and environmental storyteller, she kept a private journal for 10 years. She gave me access to it right before her transplant — in case she didn’t “make it to the other side,” she told me. With the help of other family members, Mallory’s friends, and wonderful editors, I collected some of her diary entries into a book, “Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life,” that Random House published this spring. Read the full piece at Stat.

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