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Published on Mar 15, 2012
On Friday, March 2, I finally got to meet the Mangum family. When I met Lucy, she handed me a handwritten "Thank You card" and gave me a big hug. She showed me her leg where she had been bitten by the shark. It was hard to imagine a little girl that small getting bitten by a shark.
I spent most of the day meeting the rest of the Mangum family, Craig and Jordan, Lucy's father and mother, her older brother Seth, and you two younger sisters, Hazel and Avery. After talking with Craig, he told me that they went back to the beach in October and Lucy wouldn't go near the water. He continued to tell me that recently, she has gone back into a pool, which is where we spent most of Friday. I t was great to see Lucy play in the water, splashing and having a great time. I also learned that Lucy got in an e-mail from Bethany Hamilton, the young girl who was attacked by a shark and lost her arm. When Lucy asked her how she was able to get back in the water, Bethany told her, you can't think about what happened, you just have to go do it. Bethany has a foundation called Friends of Bethany.
The following day was Lucy's seventh birthday, and we were going to Discovery Cove. When we arrived, we were met by Emily Winterhalter from SeaWorld's public relations. She assisted in checking us in and introduced us to June Staley and Jimmy Cruz, who were our hosts at the park. The first thing we did was get fitted for our wetsuits. We then were brought over to our cabana were we had snacks and drinks waiting for us. After settling in, we were off to our dolphin encounter. Lucy was very excited. She couldn't wait to get in the water with the dolphins. The trainer brought one of the dolphins over to us where we were able to pet and feed it. We got to spend a few more minutes interacting and doing tricks with the dolphin.