News Archive 2009-2018

‘Meeting Maggie’: Tara Shuman ’02 on a Serendipitous Alumnae Friendship Archives

Tara Shuman, Photo credit: Verrill Dana LLP

Tara Shuman, who graduated in 2002, was diagnosed at age 32 with breast cancer. She writes in her blog,, that this is “a journey that I never dreamed I would have to take.”

In her Oct. 24 post, “Meeting Maggie,” Shuman describes meeting another woman who happened to be receiving chemo treatments at the hospital: Maggie Loucks, class of 2006. Shuman had heard about Loucks through a mutual friend, but meeting up with her was entirely coincidental.

Although the two had never met, Shuman said she knew instantly upon sight that the other patient was Loucks. And she discovered they have a lot in common, besides having both graduated from Bowdoin and married their Bowdoin sweethearts. They were also diagnosed with the same cancer and prescribed the same drug regimen.

After Loucks finished her treatment that day, Shuman replaced her in the infusion chair to receive her chemotherapy for the first time. “I don’t think Maggie could ever know what seeing her in that chair did for me that day. … Because of her strength, I was strong. Because of her smile, I smiled too. No doubt Maggie put so much good karma in that infusion chair, that anyone who occupied it next would have benefited.”