|Birth: ||Sep. 4, 1999|
|Death: ||May 1, 2004|
Seattle Times, The (WA) - May 9, 2004
Ian Riley Malone: Brave boy who touched nation is remembered
THE DISABLED 4-year-old figured in the 2000 presidential campaign as Democrat Al Gore championed the family's fight to keep the youngster's in-home health care.
EVERETT - The small casket flanked by golden bouquets from former Vice President Al Gore and the Democratic National Convention yesterday showed that, though 4-year-old Ian Riley Malone could not overcome health difficulties he suffered from childbirth, his bravery and his family's fight to maintain his health touched a nation.
Ian, deprived of oxygen during childbirth, was born unable to swallow, hold his head up or control his arms and legs. His family battled Aetna U.S. Healthcare to keep his in-home health care, and, in 2000, contacted Al Gore - then a presidential candidate - for assistance.
Ian's health care was reinstated and Gore began to discuss the Malone family's battle with insurers as one of many reasons why patients need a "bill of rights" assuring proper medical coverage.
For the 75 to 100 people who gathered at Purdy & Walters with Cassidy funeral home to mourn Ian's death on May 1, memories of his role in the health-care debate mixed with memories of a child whose life was full of simple pleasures.
Family members, friends and health-care providers reminisced about his smile and infectious laugh, his fondness for the color yellow, his pleasure at seeing flowers in the park, and his desire to be with people.
They also showed a video that included clips from the Gore campaign.
The Pacific Boychoir, a Grammy-winning group from Oakland, Calif., sang at the service - but Malone's family and friends also listened to Ian's favorite song from "The Lion King" soundtrack.
Family members say he also elicited the kindness of strangers and friends. Families who saw the Malones on television sent toys. Parents of special-needs children wrote the Malones to share experiences.
"I can't tell you how much I miss that little 4-year-old who never said a word," said Dylan Malone, his father. "I loved him so much."
In his own way, the boy also taught others. His mother, Christine Malone, said that when she was expecting Ian, she imagined teaching him how to be a good man. Ian, however, was the one who taught her.
"Our roles were reversed," she said. "He was the one who would teach me lessons in life. I am honored to be his mother."
His nurses remembered his sociable nature and many smiles. His pediatrician wept, saying working with the little boy and his family made her a better doctor.
"Ian felt love every day, every moment of his life," said a woman who identified herself as Ian's grandmother.
"He brought out such kindness," his father said. "From Ian's perspective, it was a great world to be in."
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park
Created by: Littlmouse
Record added: Sep 15, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29828285