Fifteen-year-old Marianne Mahoney is something of a secret weapon for the Northeastern University women’s ice hockey team.
The Newton teen has the congenital disorder spina bifida, and is in a wheelchair, and she’s ever present at Husky games.
“Marianne helps our players learn how to deal with adversity,” said Northeastern coach Dave Flint. “Our kids can look at Marianne and see she has such a positive outlook on life. The obstacles that are in her way, she doesn’t let those slow her down.’’
She joined the Huskies this fall through Team IMPACT, a Quincy-based nonprofit that connects hundreds of children suffering from debilitating or life-threatening illnesses with college athletes around the country. The program gives athletes a chance to give back, but also to further their own education.