AHS Grad, Family Friends Rallying for Mallings

AHS Class of 2011 grad Bailey Rankin is leading a social media campaign called “Project Swift” in hopes of convincing singer/songwriter/actress Taylor Swift to visit AHS students Riley and Dylan Malling. Already Bailey’s campaign has seen more than 1,500 Tweets.

For those who are unfamiliar, Riley, 18, and Dylan, 15, are students in the AHS special needs classroom of teacher Susie Giesting (who is also Bailey’s mother). Students in Mrs. Giesting’s classroom have multiple disabilities. The boys both have a rare disease called Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD). This form of PMD has never before been documented. The boys are confined to wheelchairs and the PMD causes dystonia – contorted body and spasticity. Despite all of this, people comment on the boys’ smiles and laugh. Mentally, they are sound, but their physical disabilities are clearly a significant challenge.

The boys’ father, Tim Malling, is the sole provider for his family and will soon be forced to retire early due to his own disability. Efforts are under way to plan a 3K in September, a summer golf outing and I believe a skeet shooting competition. This is a family in need.

Project Swift is getting noticed. Ms. Swift and her people have already reached out with an offer to assist the Malling family in some way. Bailey expressed her gratitude and is hopeful that a meeting with Ms. Swift will be a part of the assistance. She also asks that everyone continue to Tweet and to encourage Ms. Swift and her people to contact Bailey at her Twitter account @bailey_r to discuss details regarding a visit.

In addition to Project Swift, a separate effort is under way to encourage Ellen DeGeneres to help the family. A family friend recently wrote Ms. DeGeneres about the Mallings. Ms. DeGeneres is known for her generosity to people facing challenges and regularly accepts letters of recommendation. The Mallings have been accepted and were asked to submit a more detailed description of their needs.

To learn more about the Malling family please visit Mallings Mountain at http://www.meetup.com/Mallings-Mountain/. Information is also available at #ProjectSwift and #ForTheMallings

Also, be sure to Tweet to @TheEllenShow in support of the Malling family and @TaylorSwift13 to hopefully arrange the meeting of a life time for two young men.

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