Written by Alyssa Duggan
I had no idea what a brain aneurysm was until August 25, 2016. My dear friend, teammate, roommate, and maid of honor, Mallory Brewer, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 27 due to a brain aneurysm. Mallory and I met at the University of Pittsburgh where we were blessed to be on the Pitt Gymnastics team together. Mallory was always full of PITT spirit and was truly proud to be a Pitt Panther. Her dedication to the University of Pittsburgh and the gymnastics team was insurmountable.
My connection to The Bee Foundation started in 2017, when Mallory’s mother wanted to organize a headstand event on social media in honor of her June birthday. When I came across The Bee Foundation, it was the perfect fit.
On January 11, 2020, Pitt Gymnastics dedicated their home opener competition to The Bee Foundation in honor of Mallory Brewer. I had the privilege to represent The Bee Foundation to share information regarding our organization, schedule of events, the Headstands for Mallory campaign, and to educate others on brain aneurysms. The crowd was decked out in the bright yellow TBF sunglasses and bracelets. Brain aneurysm facts were scrolling on the jumbotron’s throughout the meet to spread awareness to the Pitt community. My favorite part of the day was promoting our Headstands for Mallory campaign by having a headstand competition during the meet. Two lucky fans were selected to participate. The arena came alive! This was the perfect way to promote such a fun TBF campaign in Mallory’s honor.
It was an emotional day for me as I watched two organizations that I love come together to form a new growing relationship. Mallory was only with us for a short time, but made every day count by living her life to the fullest, touching so many lives with her big heart and her genuine care for others. Her infectious smile would brighten the darkest of days. Mallory was an influential person and has continued to guide me through life. She is the reason that 700 more people on January 11, 2020 are now aware of brain aneurysms and have the choice to help fight this disease with The Bee Foundation. She led me to TBF where I have connected with many loving people with similar stories. It’s now my hearts mission to spread the word and help others.
Don’t forget to post your headstands this June!