November 10, 2009

Mallory Code Passes On...

Mallory Code, the young former University of Florida golfer who battled Cystic Fibrosis, has passed on. Reports of her passing are sparse in the media, but news of this has been making the rounds on Twitter:

"Yesterday was a very sad day, the most amazing young woman I have ever known passed away. She touched so many lives and will be greatly missed," said Morgan Pressel.

Former Big Break contestant and professional Tina Miller said on her Twitter page that "
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Mallory Code. I can remember playing many junior tournaments with her & how she always made us laugh." Later, she added, "RIP Mallory. Hope that you are up in heaven making many birdies and dancing happily. You will be greatly missed.Prayers to the Code family...."

Code was a study in courage, and how one can maintain grace in the face of great obstacles. A winner of four junior titles, she later played for the University of Florida golf team, battling her condition all the while. A 2000 article in the Mobile Register described her situation:
"[Mallory Code] must take eight pills before every meal in an effort to replace the enzymes she has lost as a result of CF. She must also take insulin shots every day - anywhere from six to 12, according to conditions and activities - to battle diabetes. She carries an inhaler with her to deal with her sinus problems when needed.

Because she is susceptible to disease much moreso than others because of CF, because the disease forms a breeding ground for germs, Mallory must be aware of her surroundings and take great care to avoid colds or flu that could develop into something much more serious. The disease, said her father, Brian Code, must be treated aggressively with antibiotics and caution.

It would be easy for Mallory Code to sit at home and complain that life has not been fair to her. It would even be understandable. But to her, it would be wrong. To her, the interruption to the rhythm of each day with pills, inhalers and injections, the constant precautions, is normal. And if there is one thing for which she fights, it is to be as normal as her health will allow.

That's why fast, unforgiving greens don't bother her. That's why narrow fairways get a smile, not a groan. That's why even when it's hot, really, really hot, Mallory Code is really, really happy.

"When I was younger, my parents never made a big deal out of it," Mallory said of her health problems. "They never said, 'Poor Mallory.' To me, this is how it's always been. Plus, I'm not one to sit around."

For most, for healthy people, the most difficult part of playing golf is getting a tee time. For Mallory to play golf - and she plays at a national level, having won the Rolex Tournament of Champions this year as well as the American Junior Golf Association's Taylor Made-adidas Golf Texas Junior Classic - there is much to consider. She has to keep her inhaler handy and make sure she takes her insulin shots during the round, sometimes as many as eight. She must monitor her health at the same time she's trying to negotiate the golf course.

"I think people do take things for granted sometimes," Mallory said. "I do, too, with the things I have. ... The reason I play golf is because I love it. God has blessed me in so many other ways that being sick doesn't come close, not even close."
Please allow me to join in with Ms. Pressel and Ms. Miller and extend my condolences and best wishes to the Code family and to Mallory's many friends everywhere for their loss.

UPDATE: Tampa Bay Online has a story on Mallory


  1. That's a great and sad story all at the same time. Thanks for posting it. I'll bet she will be memorialized somewhere in the world of golf.

  2. Thank you for posting this it's so inspiring.

    It instantly increased my appreciation for life and (at least for a while) stopped my (frequent) griping about the littlest things.

    Condolences to Mallory Code's family and friends.

  3. Anything I can think of to say seems so... common. Mallory wasn't "common" by any definition.

    We're all diminished a little when someone like her leaves us.


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