Megan Murphy has been selected to embark on a trip next spring that will give her a greater understanding of how our nation's capital operates.
The 11-year-old was nominated and chosen for the People-to-People World Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., in April. She will join a select group of students who will earn high school credit while on the seven-day trip with stops at such venues as Capitol Hill, Gettys-burg and Colonial Williamsburg.
"We saw a letter in the mail one day," said Megan, the daughter of Gregory and Sharon Murphy, of Grovetown, and a rising sixth-grader at Grovetown Middle School. "I was really excited."
The April trip will be Megan's second trip to Washington, D.C., and she said she's enthusiastic about the adventure.
"I'm really excited because I like learning about that kind of stuff," she said, adding that her favorite subjects are math and social studies.
Megan was chosen for the honor after being nominated by teacher Ralph Barclay for several reasons: her academic scores, her volunteer work and leadership potential, among other things.
Recipient of the principal's award at Euchee Creek Elementary School last year, Megan also boasts the most Accelerated Reader points in the school since the second grade - she has earned a total of 2,418 points, with 897.5 of those accumulated during her fifth-grade year.
She cites the Accelerated Reader award as her most prized honor. "I've been trying to beat my goal every year," she said. "I like reading and I've been reading ever since kindergarten."
It was at a young age that Megan learned to overcome anything that stood in her way. When she was just 2 years old, Megan was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer in the soft muscle tissue of her left thigh. After months of intensive treatment, including, at that time, a relatively new form of radiation treatment, Megan was given a clean bill of health.
"She's had some residual setbacks like hamstring pulls, foot breaks and development problems with her teeth," said her mother. But, for the most part, doctors have said that if Megan takes a calcium supplement to help increase the strength of her bones, and is careful in physical activities, she will be fine.
"She has some osteoporosis and some ligament problems," said Mrs. Murphy. "She's actually missing her muscle on the posterior side of her leg."
The loss of that muscle hasn't stopped Megan from doing what plenty of young girls enjoy: dancing. She's taken ballet, tap and jazz lessons since she was 4 years old and has played softball for the past five years.
While there's still plenty of time between now and Megan's high school graduation day, she's already decided what she wants to do in life: be an oncologist and help cancer patients such as herself. But for now, she takes comfort in actively working with various fundraisers with the American Cancer Society.
"It's just really important to me," she said of her fundraising work. "I just want to show people there is hope if you get cancer."
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