Merrimack Sophomore Honored at Mass General Hospital Storybook Ball

Maegan Taylor ’26 has been receiving medical care from MGH professionals since high school.
Photo of Kendra Becker, Laurie Manzo, Maegan Taylor and Dr. Kathryn Brigham at the 2023 Mass General Hospital Storybook Ball.
Maegan Taylor (center right) poses with her team at this year's Mass General Hospital Storybook Ball. From left are Kendra Becker, psychologist and director of translational research at MGH’s Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program; Laurie Manzo, senior clinical nutritionist for MGH’s Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine division; and Dr. Kathryn Brigham, MGH-AYAM medical and educational director.

Leading up to this year’s Mass General Hospital Storybook Ball, Maegan Taylor ’26 said she was a bit anxious about being the guest of honor. In the end, however, it was just another place for her to thrive.

Taylor was honored at the gala, held at the Omni Boston Hotel in the Seaport, for her resilience and dedication while seeking treatment from MGH’s Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine division. Since high school, she has worked with a team of MGH doctors and professionals to help manage atypical anorexia nervosa.

Taylor said she attended the event with her mother and friend Emma Gabriel ’26, a fellow Warrior who she’s known since kindergarten.

“I don’t like lots of attention sometimes, but…(the gala) wasn’t too overwhelming,” she said. “I had a lot of people coming up to me, which I thought I wouldn’t have liked, but it wasn’t stressful or anything.”

Taylor’s strength has been apparent even at a young age. Her father passed away when she was eight and her mother was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when Taylor was 20. As an only child, Taylor served as her mother’s part-time caregiver.

The pressures of everyday life began to spill over in high school. After a period of dramatic weight loss, she began meeting with MGH health professionals. Her team consisted of Dr. Kathryn Brigham, AYAM medical and educational director; Laurie Manzo, senior clinical nutritionist; and Kendra Becker, psychologist and director of translational research at MGH’s Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program.

“They’re really nice,” she said. “They all work together so I don’t have to worry about saying something over and over again. It’s not scary to go to them.”

Taylor continued to meet with her team even after turning 18, and they assisted her with the transition to Merrimack College.

“She’s doing a really nice job of prioritizing her own health,” said Manzo. “I think Maegen is in a place that I couldn’t be happier for her.”

Someday, Taylor hopes to help others the way MGH helped her.

“I’m in the social work three-plus-two program, so it’s three years in human development and services then right into the grad program,” she explained. “I really like all my classes here — there are a lot of things I get to do and I’m really excited for grad school.”

Each iteration of MGH’s Storybook Ball is themed around a children’s book – this year’s was the “Frog and Toad” series by Arnold Lobel. Activities included carnival booths with prizes, a performance by Andrew Marshall of the TV show, “The Voice,” and an auction. The night helped raise $1.9 million for MGH’s adolescent health physicians and researchers.

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