Debbie Malone has spent her life as a caregiver, first to her mother as a child. Her mother had crippling arthritis and was not able to do housework — the cooking, the laundry, etc. — therefore Debbie was responsible for all this early in life.
She didn’t complain; she just assumed the responsibilities, missing out on so much of her childhood.
It seems this fate would follow her through her life.
As a young woman, Debbie married and started a family. With two beautiful daughters she could now have that life and dreams she had missed out on as a child. Life could be normal.
But fate would not have it. Debbie’s youngest daughter Niki was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 3, and again she found herself putting dreams aside.
For 32 years, Debbie has cared for Niki at home, refusing to put her in a home for the disabled.
Instead, she’s dedicated her life to finding out what’s available for the disabled, getting waivers to go through, etc.
She has searched the laws and fought for the rights of those with special needs. She is an advocate for the disabled and their rights and puts herself out there to be sure all parents are informed of these rights.
If she runs into a snag in the system, she just starts fighting to have it changed.
Debbie Malone is an inspiration to women from all walks of life. She’s a strong, determined lady who has taught me to never give in to circumstance. She is a fighter and is always standing ready to fight for others’ rights as well.
She is just starting to get some help with Niki after 32 years, some much-deserved help.
If anybody deserves to be called a Steel Magnolia, it’s Debbie Malone!
Submitted by Patsy Beck