It was not long ago that Madison "Madi" Beggs was walking the halls of . As a student Madison left an impression on her teachers and classmates that still can be felt a year after her graduation.
When word of her passing after a battle with cancer spread on Monday some of her former teachers remembered the brave girl who never lost her fighting spirit even during the hardest of times. They also remembered what made her such a special student when she was in their classes.
Erin Cutillo said it was Madison's sense of humor that set her apart in the classroom. "Whether it was during the time she was a student in my class or when I was visiting her in the hospital after a particularly difficult surgery, she always had something funny to say to lighten up a situation," she said.
Michele Mack, who taught Madison's computer class called her "an extremely pleasant, energetic breath of fresh air." Watching her work her way through whatever project they were doing with a smile is something Mack said she will always remember.
Three years ago when Madison was in Catherine Stratton's third grade class, she left a definite impression. "As a third grader, Madison was extremely bright and very mature," she said. "I could carry on a conversation with her as if I were speaking to an adult."
Having known Madison in the classroom, the teachers agreed that the way she took on cancer was an inspiration to them. "I learned so much from this amazing child while we were together, as well as through her traumatic illness," Mack said. "Madi will always remain in my heart and has taught me to have patience, live each day like it were my last and to love my children, family and friends unconditionally."
Cutillo said seeing the girl handle such a difficult situation the way she did was inspirational. "She showed determination, perseverance and positivity in times when it seemed impossible."
The past few years have not been easy for Madison and her family but Stratton said that never stopped Beggs from showing her true spirit even in the hardest times. "Throughout her illness, Madison continued to show her intelligence and maturity by remaining informed and making decisions for herself together with her mom."
Stratton said she will have good memories of Madison in the classroom as well as outside of school. "Madi loved to have fun with her friends and she was great at Karaoke," she said. "We shared some special times shopping at Michael's for crafts, especially beads and at Aeropostale for clothes."
Calling Madison a friend Stratton said they are memories she will not soon forget. "I so enjoyed the times we got to be together, just us two girls doing what girls love to do, shop!"
Since her illness the community has rallied around the Beggs family to help in whatever way they could. One of the people involved in that effort was Board of Education member Suzanne Brennan.
Through several successful efforts to help the family Brennan said she could see what made Madison such a special child. "Madi was so courageous, so smart and so funny," she said. "She touched many lives Madi will never be forgotten.
More information on Madison can be found for funeral information and here for a story about .