When 18-year-old rugby player Brodie McCarthy died on Sunday (May 13) after sustaining an injury at a school game, his loss was felt throughout his community in Prince Edward Island.
His loss impacted students in Cloverdale as well, more than 4,300 kilometres away. Last year, 27 rugby players from Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary (LTSS) visited Montague Regional High School in P.E.I., where Brodie attended and played rugby, as part of a YMCA youth exchange.
“We played a game against them — and then, the way rugby works, is that you finish a game and then you all sit down and have a meal and talk. So we had a chance to meet them, their coaches, some of their families,” said Jamie Overgaard, teacher and rugby coach at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary.
Brodie was one of the players the LTSS team spent the day with in Montague. When news of his death reached Cloverdale, the LTSS team told Overgaard they wanted to help raise funds for Brodie’s family and school.
The Grade 12 student was injured during a rugby tournament last Friday, resulting in bleeding in two places in his brain. He was taken to a hospital in Moncton, where he underwent brain surgery that night. The next morning, doctors were unable to find brain activity during a CAT scan.
Brodie was kept on life support until Sunday, when his family agreed to donated his organs —he had told his family a month before that he wished to be a donor if anything ever happened to him.
This week, communities throughout P.E.I. have been raising funds for the McCarthy family, and students have been showing their support by wearing jerseys to school. As of Friday morning, more than $27,000 had been raised through a GoFundMe campaign.
On Friday, LTSS rugby players wore their P.E.I. tour jerseys to school in solidarity with the students and staff at Montague Regional High School, and announced they will be hosting a fundraiser at the school by selling parking for the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.
During the long weekend, parking will be available at the school (located at 6151 180th Street) for $5 a spot. All proceeds will go towards the McCarthy family and Montague Regional High School.
The LTSS rugby team will be volunteering their time to staff the parking lot during the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair’s hours of operation: on Friday from 4 p.m. — 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.—11 p.m., and Monday from 10 a.m.—6 p.m.