2011 adversity award Tessa Beauchamp

Tessa Beauchamp

2011 adversity award Tessa Beauchamp
School: Holy Cross (Surrey) freshman's future: Trinity Western
By Howard Tsumura - Vancouver Province - LINK to story

Tessa Beauchamp keeps fighting, but on those days when the battle seems especially tough, the senior basketball star from Surrey's Holy Cross Secondary knows she has an army of supporters in her corner.

"It means the world to me," explains Beauchamp of the network of friends and family who have offered their encouragement to the 18-year-old, currently locked in her third battle with cancer in the past three years. "It keeps you going. It's amazing to know that you have that support because it helps you get by every day."

That level of devotion was evident as readers of the The Province voted Beauchamp the winner of our third annual Adversity Award, acknowledging a Grade 12 student-athlete in B.C. who has fought to overcome obstacles in a quest for academic and athletic excellence.

Beauchamp has had more than her share of adversity.

At the beginning of her Grade 10 year, and again the following summer, she underwent two surgeries to remove cancerous tumours near her brain, the second leading to the loss of hearing in her right ear. Last February, the cancer returned, and Beauchamp was once again forced to fight. She is nearing the end of a draining cycle of radiation treatments.

"It's been pretty tough," she says of her latest challenge. "It was almost like we'd get some bad news, say, 'OK, we can do this,' then we'd get more bad news. It was bad news after bad news, and it's tough to keep hearing it over and over."

Still, Beauchamp's fighting spirit has carried her through her senior year. In March, she not only accompanied her Holy Cross teammates to the B.C. Double A championship in Kamloops, she played, and helped her team to a thirdplace finish. And despite feeling well under 100 per cent, she recently attended her school's grad night celebrations.

"It was pretty special because I was with all my friends," she says. "I was pretty sick, so it was tough for me just to be there. But I got so much energy from the people around me. It got me up and going."

Like she has always done, Beauchamp keeps battling, all the while keeping an eye to her future after having recently committed to play basketball next season at Langley's Trinity Western University.

"I would say that's a huge inspiration because all I want to do is just get healthy so I can get on the court and start shooting and running and training," she explains. "The team has been so nice. I can't wait to get back on the court, and to play with them."

Last Updated: 2012-03-07
Author: Mark Janzen