Meghan McCarthy of Tewksbury was just 17 years old when she passed away in January after having been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (brain tumor) her freshman year of high school.
According to McCarthy's obituary, the high school senior received her diploma in a semi-private bedside ceremony on Jan. 13.
McCarthy did not let her diagnosis keep her from participating in high school sports. She was a member of the school's field hockey, basketball, and track teams. She was named captain of her field hockey squad her senior year.
On Monday, the Tewksbury Memorial High field hockey team is hosting a cancer fundraiser called "Play for the Cure" in McCarthy's honor and memory.
After her diagnosis, McCarthy became a keynote speaker for "Play for the Cure" fundraisers, and a representative for other cancer awareness campaigns.
All proceeds from the event will go to the American Cancer Society to help find a cure for this devastating disease.
As the centerpiece for the fundraiser, McCarthy's teammates will play in a highly anticipated rematch against Chelmsford. Game time is 3:30 p.m. at Strong's Field.
Both teams will shed their usual uniforms and replace them with shirts of pink and white to show their support for cancer awareness.
Two Sundays ago, the field hockey team participated in the Breast Cancer Walk in Boston. The walk is a long-time team tradition. McCarthy used to take part in the walk, and her teammates are continuing on the custom and wanted to start a new one, as well.
"We've always done the breast cancer walk in Boston as a team, and (McCarthy) always did it with us, so that was a tribute," said Patricia Ryser, coach of the TMHS field hockey team.
"That's why we wanted to this as a tribute, as well, and it works out well because March is breast cancer awareness month."
Ryser is encouraging people to attend the event and show their support.
"We're expecting a ton of people because we put fliers all over the school, and in everyone's mailboxes, so I think we are going to have a really good turnout," said Ryser.
"Most of the other teams don't have games that day, so I've heard a lot of the other student athletes will be coming down to show their support."
Since McCarthy was also a notable member of the school's basketball program, the basketball team recently held a tribute to honor McCarthy's memory and raise money, as well.
"The basketball program had a tribute to her and the whole school took part in it because she was just so connected to a lot of kids," said Ryser. "So the field hockey girls wanted to do something in her honor because she played field hockey too."
The team will be selling pink ribbons on Friday to help raise money, and ribbons will be for sale at the event, as well. There will also be a donation box at the game so that people can donate additional moneys to the Cancer Society.