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Chieftain Press

Rising Star Michelle Farnsworth

Sage Feltus, Contributor

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Nashoba is lucky to have freshman Michelle Farnsworth added to its student body this year. Although Michelle is just getting started here, she has already made quite the impact in athletics, academics and on the social scene.

Michelle is a school-choice student from Leominster, but she embodies everything it means to be a Chieftain. In an interview with Michelle, she expressed her enthusiasm about choosing Nashoba,  “I think Nashoba is a great school! I’m very glad I was able to school choice”.

As a member of the field hockey and swimming teams, Michelle knows how to compete. Her favorite sport happens to be swimming, which she has participated in since she was seven years old. She is a standout contributor on both teams, but her successes don’t stop there.

Academically Michelle has been balancing a full course load. She takes a variety of classes. She says “I am taking accelerated Spanish 2, Algebra 2, Environmental Science, English, and US History”. Michelle is also humble when talking about her academic successes, “ I guess I would say that I’m pretty successful in all my classes because I get all A’s and B’s”.

Sam Mitchell, a freshman who has known Michelle since middle school, speaks to Michelle’s good character in an interview, “She’s just really nice, always friendly. She’s just so nice”. Michelle has an active social life, and lately, her friends and family have been what keeps her going.

There are few people in this world who can be faced with great adversities and still manage to wake up with a smile on their face every day, but Michelle does just this. Michelle’s recent diagnosis of Rhabdomyosarcoma has truly revealed her incredible character.

At just fourteen years old, Michelle has been diagnosed with a rare muscle cancer that will require radiation and chemotherapy treatment. She has already started her treatments at the UMASS Hospital in Worcester, so trips to the hospital have become routine.

Michelle said, “My family and friends have been so great and supportive since they found out. My mom has created a Facebook page to keep them all updated because everyone wants to help any way they can”, she continues, “Our friends have been providing meals since we have been spending a lot of time at the hospital, and my friends are constantly visiting me. This support is what helps me and my family take on each day”.

Possibly one of Michelle’s best traits is her courage. When talking about her diagnosis she says, “Of course in the beginning I was scared and terrified, and I was wondering, how could this happen to me? Because I’ve been a healthy child all my life. So I guess you could say I was in denial a lot at first. But now I understand it better and all I can do is fight and stay positive so I can win this thing”.

Her positivity is contagious. Michelle chooses to look beyond the negative and to see this experience as a journey.  “I’m just starting out on this journey and my friends and family have been so supportive and loving, that just keeps me strong”.

Michelle is young yet well-spoken, and she has an incredible perspective on her condition. Although she misses school, she has accepted that her life will be different for awhile, and she says, “There will good weeks and bad weeks”. She plans to keep up with school work through a plan designed specifically for her by Nashoba to suit her needs.

Even when faced with this life altering challenge, Michelle likes to focus on things she enjoys like reading and cooking. Someday she aspires to be an author, a publisher, or a pastry chef, but she says “At the moment, I‘m still experiencing life”.

Michelle would like to remind everyone, “Go out and experience life to the fullest because you never know what the next day might bring.” She is truly an incredible young woman and a reminder to all that, no matter the situation at hand, positivity and optimism are key to getting through it. This girl is unstoppable, and it will be exciting to see what Michelle will do next in her future years at Nashoba.

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Rising Star Michelle Farnsworth