• “I don’t need easy, I just need possible”: A Baylor alumna’s inspirational story

    Allison Dickson portrait outside her home

    Allison Dickson’s life has been anything but easy.

    At 15 months old, she was diagnosed with a rare form of spinal muscular atrophy called Werdnig-Hoffman disease, and her parents were told she would not live to see the age of 3. But Dickson defied all odds — not just surviving, but thriving. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Southwestern University, then was valedictorian of her class at Baylor Law School. Since graduation, Dickson (JD ’07) has served as a legal research assistant at Baylor Law and served of counsel with Fort Worth-based Patterson Law Group.

    In 2014, she became gravely ill and again received a dire prognosis. Doctors told she would likely never be able to eat, drink, breathe or speak on her own again, and that she would never be able to return home. Instead, Dickson returned home just five months later.

    Through all this, her motto has become, “I don’t need easy, I just need possible.” It’s the title of her website, displayed on t-shirts worn by friends and family, and is the pending name for the foundation she’s working to launch.

    Since her illness, Dickson has only increased her volunteering and philanthropy efforts. She has established three fully endowed scholarships for students at Temple High School, Southwestern and Baylor Law School. She’s also organized an annual holiday gift drive for kids at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center, and she collects supplies for homeless individuals and at-risk students in Temple ISD through community outreach.

    “I try to live by love, kindness, perseverance,” Dickson says. “And I really, truly believe that God is not done with me. There is more for me to do, more for me to give back and share, and hopefully impact other lives. I pray I can reflect God’s love in the work that I do.”

    For her efforts, Dickson was honored as Baylor’s Young Lawyer of the Year in 2017 and with Baylor’s W.R. White Meritorious Service Award in 2023.

    “Allison’s courage and tenacity inspires each of us to always look beyond adversity to accomplish our goals,” says recently retired Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben (JD ’77). “I am beyond proud of Allison for her accomplishments.”

    Sic ’em, Allison!