To watch Megan Murphy in a pool or on a playing field, only her athletic prowess stands out.
Upon closer inspection, though, some might notice that her left leg is considerably smaller than her right.
As a 2-year-old, Murphy suffered from rhabdomyosarcoma, a malignant tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. To defeat the cancer, she underwent chemotherapy, radiation treatments and surgery that removed much of the muscle in her thigh.
But the impediment hardly has impeded the 17-year-old junior at Grovetown High School. She plays softball and soccer and swims competitively.
“I get tired a little bit faster than the others (her teammates), and after a hard game I can get a bit of a limp, but that’s about it,” Murphy said.
Some might wonder why she even tries to play at all, but Murphy said she couldn’t imagine not getting in the game.
Murphy is a year-round athlete.
“That’s how I get rid of my stress,” said the student currently ranked first in her class. “I love to play and couldn’t imagine not being involved in sports.”
Not only is she involved in sports, she excels, especially at swimming.
Murphy holds school records for the 500-meter freestyle, the 100-meter backstroke and the 200-meter freestyle.
“With swimming, it’s easier because there’s not so much stress on my body,” she said.
To limit her need to run and help stave off fatigue, Murphy plays first base on her softball team and is a fullback for soccer.
The only drawback to Murphy is that she might sometimes try to push herself too hard, said Grovetown High girls soccer coach Greg Young.
“No matter what, she’s always giving it everything she has,” Young said. “I’m constantly humbled by how hard she works.”