RodeoHouston 2018

Young mutton bustin' champ of RodeoHouston 2018 is a show-stealing cancer survivor

Young mutton bustin' champ of RodeoHouston 2018 is a cancer survivor

Marlie McDonald mutton bustin RodeoHouston 2018
The precocious Marlie McDonald wants to use her talents to "fight for the world." Photo courtesy of ABC13

She's the cute curly red-headed 6-year-old that won the first Mutton Bustin title of 2018.

"I did what my parents told me. I hold on really tight," said Marlie Ruth McDonald.

Marlie had folks cracking up during her interview portion where she said she wants to be a spy, because she wants to fight for the world. She wants to fight off the bad guys she said.

However, what you don't know about this sweet little girl is she has already fought off something evil that has claimed the lives of other young children. Marlie is a cancer survivor.

It was during her mother Nathalie's 34th week of pregnancy that an ultrasound revealed Marlie had a golfball size mass in her brain. At just four days old, she underwent a 7-hour brain surgery at Texas Children's Hospital.

"She's always beaten the odds," said her father Kevin McDonald.

McDonald said his daughter is the toughest kid he's ever seen, and the family jokingly says she's tougher than boot leather.

"She has a purpose in life, and one of those purposes is to really give an inspirational purpose to people how to overcome obstacles and challenges," said her father.

"They didn't give us high percentages of hope and we just encourage all parents who have kids with an ailment that with hope and prayer, anything can happen," said Nathalie McDonald.

Registration for Mutton Bustin' is closed for 2018, but you can sign your child up for next year in November.


For more on this story, visit our content partner, ABC13

Learn More