Here are the words we never wanted to write for you. At 10:50 Wednesday morning, Oct. 30, 2019, we as a family had the privilege to be with him as he ended this chapter to begin a new one. Malcolm’s life had so much more meaning and joy and he was not defined by the cancer that eventually took him from us. He never lost that battle, but it is difficult to win the war when it’s with your own body. In May 2017, Malcolm was diagnosed with a rare form of non-rhabdo soft tissue sarcoma. The team of nurses and his oncologist, Dr. Ross Goshorn at Sacred Heart in Spokane, exhausted every option and potential treatment and never quit. For that we are eternally grateful. For the past two and a half years, Malcolm endured multiple chemotherapy treatments, radiation, numerous procedures, surgeries, some scheduled and some emergency, thousands of miles in a car to and from appointments and too many setbacks to count, and he did so head-on with a smile.
Malcolm was born April 15, 2001, in Lewiston. At 2 months old he was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma, which resulted in him donning his first pair of black-rimmed glasses that he became known for. As a little boy, he enjoyed camping, fishing, spending time at the beach and anything outdoors. One of six siblings, he was either being bossed around by his sisters or learning something from his brother. He never lacked friends or enemies early on, as he literally was Malcolm in the middle. His chubby cheeks and black-rimmed glasses always worked in his favor. Malcolm’s love for the outdoors gave him the opportunity to start volunteering with Idaho Fish and Game as a junior high student. He was able to share his passion for the outdoors with many of the young hunters and some of the older ones, as well. He earned the regional youth hunter education instructor of the year for 2015, 2016 and 2017. Malcolm became part of the family to the staff of Fish and Game, and truly enjoyed his time there.
Malcolm had various interests; homework was not one of them, but thanks to Mr. Driskill and the staff at Lewiston High School, he was able to graduate with his class and with the support of the entire student body he had a great high school experience. Along with his parents, siblings and his love for the outdoors, Malcolm’s most prized possession was time with his friends. Regardless of what they did, time was a commodity he valued in ways others might not.
Malcolm is survived by his parents, Matt and Laci Thorson, and Kassi Smith; siblings Lucas, Sayler, Tai, Christopher and Ava Jo; grandparents Nancy and Cliff Smith, Chris and Terri Yochum, Marianne Clark and Catherine Dillon; and numerous aunts, uncles and countless cousins who were here for him on this journey. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Steve and Terry Smith, and Gene Thorson.
Warriors are not the ones who always win, but are the ones who always fight. We love you, Mal.
A celebration of Malcolm’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Malcolm’s name to Jackson’s Pay It Forward Foundation, 3527 Eighth St. C, Lewiston, ID 83501.