GENESEO — Mallory Ryan McDanel was born on Feb. 23 , 2016 with half a heart, and Geneseo is coming together to reinforce her heart and her family.
An ongoing fundraiser, centered around an art piece created by Mallory’s father Ryan McDanel, is taking place at the Oak Valley Inn & Suites Gallery in Geneseo.
“I immediately felt like it would a great idea to be personally involved and to also get others involved,” said Jay Curci, owner of Oak Valley Inn. “It’s obviously not an easy thing for the McDanel family, but I really think how they are approaching the situation is wonderful.”
The fundraiser is meant to shed light on Mallory and her condition, called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), and help raise funds to reconstruct the right ventricle of Mallory’s heart.
Ryan, of Perry, has created what he calls ‘The Mallory Heart,’ a steel flower-shaped figure inspired by both Mallory’s preciousness and also her toughness.
“As a father and an artist I knew I could therapeutically make these in honor of my daughter to try to raise funds for what my wife and I will soon incur financially,” said Ryan. “She will never have a whole heart, but the right ventricle will be reconstructed to keep her alive. Tough as steel, as precious as a flower, the symbolism can be as uncanny as you make it.”
The McDanel family hopes to spread the word on Mallory by also selling Mallory Hearts to businesses on Main Street Geneseo to be displayed in support for Mallory.
Mallory Flowers can be purchased here.
“Selling these helps us, but more than the end product, making them quintessentially helps me,” said Ryan. “We’re all in process in this world and I’m just doing what I can.”