A Tufts University student-athlete died over the weekend after she choked on a hot dog during an eating contest for charity, sources told WBZ-TV.
Madie Nicpon was a member of the women’s lacrosse team and a biopsychology major in the class of 2023.
The charity fundraiser was hosted at an off-campus rental property in Somerville, Mass. First responders attempted life-saving measures, but Nicpon was unconscious when an ambulance arrived. She later died at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“In the face of this painful loss, our hearts go out to Madie’s family and friends,” Tufts University said in a statement last week.
Tufts University said about 3,000 students and staff attended a candlelight vigil for Nicpon on campus. Mourners gathered at the Gantcher Center to remember Nicpon and support each other in grief, then the group headed by candlelight to Bello Field, where Nicpon had spent many hours with her teammates and friends.
“The number of community members who turned out to lend support to each other, to Madie’s friends, and to her family was a testament to how many lives Madie touched during her time at Tufts,” the university said in a statement. “We are never prepared for the loss of someone in our community. It can be especially hard to accept the loss of someone so young. In times like these, it is more important than ever to rely on each other and draw strength from our community.”
A GoFundMe for Nicpon’s family raised more than $173,000. Nicpon’s parents Chris and Kathy Nicpon thanked donors in a message Sunday.
“The outpouring of support has been overwhelming and a source of strength to us in the midst of this tragic time. We feel so loved and supported by our family, friends and community. We thank you.
The amount of money raised allows us to explore ways to keep Madie's spirit of giving back to the communities that gave her such joy and fulfillment in her life.