Walk into the Tewksbury High School Gymnasium these days and
you will find an empty chair with a girls basketball jersey #24 draped over the
back of that chair.
Meghan McCarthy wore
number 24 and she personified "Tewksbury
At the end of her freshman year Meghan was diagnosed with an
inoperable brain tumor. Meghan kept
playing field hockey, basketball and volunteered for the after school child
Meghan got sicker just before Christmas but she still made
the honor roll and actually suited up for a basketball game just after New
Year’s. Meghan lost her fight on January
19 but her spirit lives in perpetuity throughout the school and the entire town
"You’d never know Meghan was sick – ever, she
was, and still is, such an inspiration to all of us," said her teammate,
The Tewksbury gym is decorated with signs reminding
one and all, of her courage and tenacity fighting her illness for more than two
and a half years.
"You cannot measure the effect that Meghan has had on our
team," declared girls basketball coach Mark Bradley. "Every time we are tired
or down we think of what Meghan went through and how she would want us to keep
The Tewksbury girls could be on their way to a
state tourney berth, something unthinkable in December.
Meghan McCarthy’s spirit has elevated their
play to unthinkable heights. It is
impossible to measure the effect she has had on her teammates, on and off, the
court. In just 17 short years Meghan McCarthy combined the best of tenderness
and toughness into a model life for generations to emulate.