Madie Nicpon was full of life and light. Born December 22, 2000 to her adoring parents, Christopher and Kathleen Nicpon. Madie was the middle child between her brothers, Brian and Mikey. She was thrilled to have just gained a sister through Brian’s marriage to Briana. Madie was a talented athlete, scholar, daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, niece, friend, dancer, singer.
Madie’s community and activity involvement began at an early age. From ballet at the YMCA to youth soccer, Madie’s days were busy and she displayed her gift for connecting with people by developing friendships that remained strong throughout her short lifetime. In second grade, she embarked on her lacrosse journey by joining the ¾ team at SGYL. Her love of “the arts” continued as she expanded her activities to include more ballet, performing in The Nutcracker and becoming a member of the Helen Hayes Youth Theater. By 8th grade, Madie realized that she needed to make a choice between “sports” and “the arts”. She chose sports but squeezed in weekly voice lessons and was always ready with a song, a joke, or a funny story to keep us all entertained.
In elementary school, Madie became involved in Youth Ministry at The Church of the Presentation. In high school, she participated in two Mission trips to Jamaica through Mustard Seed Communities where she helped children with disabilities. These experiences helped solidify her desire to continue a life of service to others, especially children.
Madie’s high school years were filled with Honors and AP classes. She was the Class of 2019 President and held leadership positions in numerous clubs and Honor Societies. True to her competitive roots, she played three high school sports. After becoming a NYS Section 1 all-star in two of them, field hockey and lacrosse, Madie chose to pursue lacrosse in college.
It was during her high school sophomore year that Madie suffered a lingual nerve injury during wisdom teeth removal. She was a nerve graft recipient and was later recommended to participate in a PR promotion with AxoGen, the company which supplied her nerve graft. Madie made an immediate impression on the AxoGen family and received the honor of participating in the 2019 Rose Bowl Parade as a rider on the Donate Life float. This event had a major impact on Madie and led her to become a registered Organ Donor and to encourage others to do the same.
Madie was thrilled to be recruited to the Tufts Women’s Lacrosse team her Senior year. Affectionately known as Scooter, she whole-heartedly became a Jumbo and embraced her teammates, coaches and school community. Even though COVID restricted personal interaction, Madie remained connected to others and nurtured many friendships. She was a proud member of The Ivy Sorority, she was a representative to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, a Green Dot representative, and recently accepted into the Tufts Dance collective. After multiple changes of major, she settled on Biopsychology. Her plan was to attend Medical School and become a pediatrician, with her parents' hope of her working side-by-side with her father in his practice.
Like many, Madie was confronted with mental health issues in her life. She experienced negative feedback and harsh criticism that eroded her self-confidence. As vivacious as her personality was, she internalized these experiences and began to doubt herself and her abilities. Her family recognized her depression, and spoke about it with her. The turning point was when Madie recognized these negative changes for herself and resolved to work through them. Madie started therapy and began to experience the value of weekly sessions to express her feelings and thoughts. She developed strategies to avoid internalizing negative comments and actions, and she learned how to build healthier relationships with others. Just prior to Madie’s passing, it was apparent to her family and friends that she was “in a good place” with her mental health. Those close to Madie treasure this as a gift.
Despite the tragic events that took place, Madie remained on life-support and became an organ donor. Her kidneys have altered the lives of two women, and her tissue, bone and nerves will help countless people; her lungs, although damaged, will aid research. As she was quoted in a newspaper article in 2019, “It is not just about saving lives, it is also about improving quality of life.” To have known Madie was to know that she was genuinely motivated by engaging with people and fostering true connections. Her positive energy was palpable and it drove her to be involved in many different things - all of which made connections to others. From her hometown of Suffern, NY to her collegiate career at Tufts University – and everywhere in between - Madie was an amazing life force.
“Madie has and will continue to inspire us every day. We should all strive to live life a little more like Scooter did — a person that valued love, loyalty, compassion and friendship."