Soccer player Katherine Marchesseault hopes to inspire
Katherine Marchesseault, a sophomore at Northeastern, is an integral part of the Northeastern women’s soccer team.
But three years ago this month, she was far from a football pitch. Instead, she was at the Shriners Children’s Boston, recovering from a horrific accident and wondering if she would ever play football again or walk.
Now, after a remarkable recovery and return to the sport, the North Andover, Massachusetts defender will thank the people who made it possible, in a big way. She will appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” at 8:30 a.m. EST Friday to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Shriners Children’s, a group of nonprofit hospitals with locations across North America. North.
“I didn’t know if I was going to walk again, run again, let alone kick a soccer ball,” says Marchesseault. “They really gave me the opportunity to continue playing the sport I love, so I couldn’t be more grateful to them.”
Marchesseault serves as the National Patient Ambassador for the Shriners, a role she accepted without hesitation in May. As an Ambassador, she can travel, meet new people and share her story to help promote the work of the Shriners.
“They are the most amazing organization,” she says. “The work they do for children is amazing and they save so many lives.”
She certainly has a lot to be thankful for. In September 2019, Marchesseault was a high school student who dreamed of competing in soccer at the Division 1 level. Then she was involved in a single-vehicle accident that left her with a severe burn on her left leg and multiple broken bones. She could have lost her leg; instead, his care team at the Shriners managed to save him during a month of treatment that included seven surgeries and a skin graft.
When she reflects on that time, she remembers how difficult it was for her physically. But she also remembers how comfortable she was at Shriners. “You don’t actually feel like you’re in a hospital,” she says. “It’s such a calming presence when you’re in there…that’s what made it so easy for me.”
Less than two months after leaving the hospital, she was already back on the court in a high school game – scoring two goals – with her biggest cheerleaders behind her. “The support I received from family and friends that day will be unparalleled throughout my life,” she says.
Now she has found a new family in the North East women’s soccer team. “I can’t wait to see how much I grow not only as a soccer player, but also as a human being around these people,” she says. There is talk among his teammates of hosting a watch party for his appearance at the GMA.
When Marchesseault appears on GMA, she will be joined by Shriners chief of staff Dr. Robert Sheridan, and patients and hospital representatives will make appearances outside the Times Square studio.
She also appears in a 30-minute special, hosted by Kristen Bell, which highlights the history of the Shriners and the care they have provided to more than one million children over the past century. Miracles, Magic and Milestones will air on ABC and Hulu stations starting Friday.
“This televised event is an opportunity for us to share our story with the world, the story of how Shriners Children’s has been a driving force in shaping specialty pediatric care for 100 years,” said Jerry Gantt, Chairman of the Shriners Board of Directors, in a statement.
The Shriners will also air commercials during the show and ads will appear on the Super Sign in Times Square.
Marchesseault hopes his appearance will help promote the work of the hospital, but also that his story will inspire others.
“You really can do anything,” she says. “Keep moving forward and never give up.”
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