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Honorary Captain Has Eyes Set on Future

Future Pittsburg State University student heads to campus to share an abilities awareness message.

Malorie has her sights set on success.

This recent Galena High School graduate isn’t waiting until the first day of class to make waves at Pittsburg State University. Instead, Malorie sought a second part-time summer job – this time, on campus. She’s serving students, families and staff by offering tours and working as an administrative assistant. With nearly 50 credit hours already in her back pocket, Malorie looks forward to studying business management in the fall.

She dreams of one day becoming a CEO of a large corporation.

It would seem that Pittsburg State University is the key to unlocking her future. However, for one week this summer, the university will also shine a light on her past as well. PSU is host to the 49th annual Kansas Shrine Bowl – an event that brings together high school athletes, cheerleaders, marching band musicians, Shriners and patients, for a game and plenty of fellowship.

Malorie was diagnosed with scoliosis in the 8th grade. With a spine too curved for bracing and a very short time before her body was finished growing, Malorie’s care team at Shriners Children’s St. Louis and her parents agreed spine surgery was the best option.

Her Shriners Children’s St. Louis surgeon inserted rods helping to straighten her spine. 

I sincerely believe every single individual involved with Shriners Children’s genuinely cares for our kids.
Michelle, Malorie's mother

“After surgery, the healing part was not bad at all. Once it was healed up, I could do anything my friends can do,” she explained.

Today, she stands at almost 5’10’’. If you can believe it, she gained several of those last few inches in surgery as her spine straightened.

“When I woke up I was like someone get me a measuring tape,” she laughed.

“When I think of the words ‘Shriners family’, tears come to my eyes. I get a feeling of warmth, love, understanding, hospitality, concern and, most of all, caring. I sincerely believe every single individual involved with Shriners Children’s genuinely cares for our kids,” reflected Malorie’s mom, Michelle.

Malorie will serve as the honorary captain for the 2022 Kansas Shrine Bowl, a designation she says she was honored to receive. That title will bring her to the 50-yard line to flip the kick-off coin, to the stage for the banquet, to the parade and, maybe most importantly, to the Kansas Shrine Bowl Hospital experience.

That’s where she’ll lead a coalition of 16 patient ambassadors prepared to share their stories and advocate for abilities awareness. They’ll take the athletes, cheerleaders and musicians through the Kansas Shrine Bowl Hospital Experience that will, hopefully, open their eyes to the challenges other kids face every day.

Scoliosis Couldn't Slow Her Down

Malorie will lead a coalition of patients at Kansas Shrine Bowl.

Malorie in graduation gown

Graduation at Galena High School in Galena, Kansas

Malorie's back scar

Malorie wears her scars proudly.

Malorie with another student and mascot on gym court holding a large check

Malorie receives a scholarship to Pittsburg State University.

Malorie walking in hot pink gown during senior prom

Malorie smiles in pink at her senior prom.

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