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She was hospitalized for a month and now gives back to others

IU Health Simon Cancer Center

She was hospitalized for a month and now gives back to others

She was flooded with gifts from family members and friends. It helped get her through the toughest days. Now Mallorie Hook is giving back to IU Health Simon Cancer Center.

By IU Health Senior Journalist, TJ Banes, tfender1@iuhealth.org

There’s a picture that speaks volumes of Mallorie Hook’s journey. She’s floating in the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry in Arizona. The mountains are in the background and the sun is shining down. Hook has a big smile on her face.

It’s a moment captured in one of her favorite locations. When she recently completed her treatments at IU Health Simon Cancer Center, Hook and her fiancé loaded their two Golden Retrievers into their RV and headed out for a long trip.

“Thinking about that trip was what got me through treatment,” said Hook, who turned 31 in September.

It was that trip and all the love and support from others who helped her reach the point she is now.

In February she had a rough week of sickness that included a migraine. She called her primary physician who suggested she go to ER. A blood test followed and within hours, Hook was in IU Health Simon Cancer Center. Her diagnosis was Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. At IU Health she is in the care of Dr. Larry Cripe.

The diagnosis came not only as a surprise, but also after years facing bumps in the road. She became engaged three years ago to Stephen Moore, someone she’s known since middle school. In January 2020, Moore’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in September.

“We finally got to a point where we were ready to begin planning for a wedding and then I was diagnosed,” said Hook, who grew up in Carmel. She is the second oldest of four children. Her parents are Ken and Kathleen Hook.

Throughout her life, she has been involved in traveling volleyball and softball, and cheerleading. In high school she found her niche in hair and makeup artistry and began taking on the role for high school musicals.

She attended Ball State University where she and Moore began dating and then pursued a career in cosmetology. She also paints in acrylics.

When she became hospitalized, Hook said she was overjoyed and overwhelmed by the outpouring of gifts from loved ones.

“It was a shocking diagnosis and a lot of people sent gifts - personal care items, art supplies, and blankets. It made me feel loved and also I began to see others who were in the hospital for a long time and were far from home. They didn’t get that attention,” said Hook. She began putting extra gifts on a donation table in IU Health Simon Cancer Center. The items disappeared quickly. She knew they were needed and appreciated.

She finished her first chemotherapy in August and returned for a bone marrow biopsy.

“I’m great now. I just got the biopsy results and everything is clear,” said Hook.

But she continues to visit her doctor monthly and when she does she brings along armfuls of gifts for the patients. Her mom serves as the planner and coordinator and collects favorite items such as eye masks, socks, art supplies, knitted hats, and magazines.

“The most popular items are blankets. If you are in a hospital bed, a nice soft fuzzy blanket makes all the difference. You don’t know what it feels like to receive something as simple as a warm hat when your head is bald, or a cold smoothie when your mouth hurts. I know and now I want to help others feel more comfortable,” said Hook.

And now that she’s feeling better, she hopes to begin planning that wedding.

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Leukemia

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