Megghan Paige Duffy, 23, of South Street, Fitchburg, died peacefully Thursday, November 6, 2020, in Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital surrounded by her family after a lengthy battle with Ewing Sarcoma.
Megghan was born on January 17, 1997, in Leominster, Massachusetts, to her parents Michael T. Duffy of Worcester and Shari (Bergeron) Duffy of Fitchburg. Along with her parents, Megghan leaves behind her wife, Kelsie (Jones-Brousseau) Duffy, also of Fitchburg, who was her best friend and life partner, and their puppy Benny. She also leaves behind her beloved older sister Taylor E. Duffy and her husband Justin Ferrante, of Worcester.
In addition, she will be missed by her maternal grandparents Linda (Lawler) Kastner and Donald Kastner of Winchendon and her paternal grandfather, Thomas Duffy of Leominster, along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who loved her dearly. She was predeceased by her maternal grandfather Andre L. Bergeron of Leominster, her paternal grandmother Norma Kelley of Leominster, and her beautiful cousin Caileigh Armatruda of Worcester.
Megghan graduated a member of the National Honor Society from Leominster High School’s Center for Technical Education innovation in 2015, and Magna Cum Laude from Fitchburg State University in 2019, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychological Science, with a focus in Neuroscience, Behavior and Cognition. She was a Massachusetts Commonwealth Scholar as part of the Fitchburg State Honors College, and a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology. Most recently she worked as a therapeutic mentor and in-home mentor for at-risk families for YOU, Inc. in Worcester. It was a job she loved so very much.
Megghan was only 23, but she lived her life so fully. She was a sweet, loving, compassionate soul to all who knew her, and that showed in both her words and her deeds.
In high school, Megghan was part of the Health Assisting program, becoming a licensed CNA and caring for the residents in the Life Care Center of Leominster. She founded the Animal Rights Club at LHS and spent weekends volunteering at the Pat Brody shelter. She co-founded LEAD, a student group dedicated to raising mental health awareness in teens and co-authored TryHealth, the country’s first holistic and mental health inclusive health education curriculum for PreK-12. Through LEAD, she helped raise funds for holiday presents for the mothers and children in substance-use recovery treatment centers, and also arranged for displaced families staying in local homeless shelters to receive a “spa day” of hair and nail treatments. She helped raise funds to build a new roof over the local battered women’s shelter and she was also a member of STRIDE, a group that raised awareness of and funding for a shelter for the many children who were removed from their homes by their parents because of their sexual orientation. Her work at LHS with Invisible Children helped raise awareness of child soldiers in Uganda and helped buy African villages livestock to help them sustain an agricultural self-reliance, and they raised funding for the installment of much needed water wells in these locations.
Megghan was the President of her school’s chapter of SkillsUSA Massachusetts, and helped run Holiday Breakfasts with Santa, an annual event that hosted homeless families and raised funds for CTEi students to participate in SkillsUSA for scholarships.
Before graduating from Fitchburg State, Megghan spent her Spring semester interning in Washington DC, where she worked as a non-profit management fellow for RespectAbility, a national organization designed to fight the stigma of and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. Her work included advocating on Capitol Hill to raise awareness for the needs of the disabled community, and one of her passions was urging funding and awareness for the need for more reliable and available elevators in the DC metro subway stations for those who were wheelchair bound.
After she began fighting cancer, one of her many goals was to pursue a future in counseling other young adults in similar situations struggling with terminal illness. She felt there was a lack of support aimed directly at the young adult population and was determined to serve in this area.
Her caring for others did not end with her passing. She has donated tissue to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and to other Sarcoma research facilities across the country in an effort to help find a cure for this terrible disease that affects children and young adults.
Although her family is heartbroken over her loss, we take comfort in the fact that Megghan followed her dreams, found the love of her life, valued science and community service, and led by example on what true courage, kindness, and selflessness truly meant. She was a beautiful, intelligent spirit who brought love and kindness to ALL who knew her.
The family wishes to thank the incredible CNAs, nurses, counselors, and the oncology, radiology, palliative care, hematology, and pulmonary teams at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute of Boston, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and at the Simonds-Sinon Regional Cancer Center in Fitchburg.
If you are interested in helping to continue Megghan’s work, a support program for young adults and their caregivers struggling with a cancer diagnosis, is being developed by LEAD and donations are being accepted to offer the course free to young adult patients world-wide. Contributions can be made to the Megghan Duffy Scholarship Fund via this website:
https://secure.givelively.org/donate/let-s-empower-advocate-and-do-inc/megghan-s-scholarship-fund. Or checks can be mailed to the Megghan Duffy Scholarship Fund directly to the Richardson Funeral Home, 106 West Street, Leominster, MA. 01453
Megghan was a strong advocate for protecting the safety of others during this pandemic by limiting exposure risks through limiting public gatherings and through mask wearing. For those reasons and due to local Covid 19 restrictions, Megghan’s funeral services will be private. However, a celebration of her life will be held at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Megghan Paige Duffy, please visit our floral store.