Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Review: Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life

Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life by Mallory Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Right in the middle of my move across the country, I was contacted by a friend of Mallory Smith, asking me to read Mallory's memoir for review. I downloaded the Kindle and audiobook version and promptly, in keeping with this entire move, lost the friend's email for a time. I very much wanted to read Mallory's story because I, too, had a friend who had cystic fibrosis, like Mallory.

Cystic Fibrosis, which is a progressive genetic disease, is cruel in that it worsens as a person enters what should be the prime of their lives. It is a disease that is a great challenge to live with and that is in part what made Mallory, who loved sports and the beaches, so unusual. For so many years, until the cusp of adulthood and her admission to Stanford, Mallory was undaunted by her CF. She wanted to simply live a happy life. Her observations of living with her illness can in some ways be generalized to the day to day struggles of anyone living with a serious, life-threatening disease. From understanding what it's like to be a young person who is continually having to readjust their expectations from life, to advice about what not to say to someone who is seriously ill, Salt in My Soul offers readers a chance to walk in Mallory's shoes.

This is a poignant story about battling Cystic Fibrosis and closes with some promising developments in treatment for one of the serious types of bacterial infections (Burkholderia cepacia) that can cause rapid clinical deterioration due to antibiotic resistance. My understanding from Mallory's friend is that all proceeds from this book will be donated to CF research.

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