Remembering Mayla McArdle


Photo By Rachel Berhman

Mayla McArdle (center) portrays Mother Road in Tar and Feathers with senior Josh Davis (left) and alumnus Mitchell Worrell-Olsen (right).

Josh Davis, Guest Writer

“When something like this happens, I pray very hard to make heads or tails of it… she went on to a place where she could be a guardian angel. She will always be young. She will always be beautiful. And I personally feel safer knowing she’s up there on my side.” -Annelle (Steel Magnolias)

I still can’t fully comprehend what has happened, and I don’t know if I ever will be able to.

Mayla lit up every room she entered, her laugh was contagious and her smile warmed your heart.

I first met her when auditioning for the theater program my freshman year. She was a senior and while everyone seemed so amazing and intimidating, Mayla was just sitting there comforting all the other kids and me with her soft smile.

To anyone who didn’t know her she was a small, very reserved girl who kept to herself, but behind the closed doors of the theater, on the stage, she blossomed like the beautiful magnolia she was. Mayla was diagnosed with colon cancer about a year and a half ago, the doctors told her she had two months to live. However, we found hope when a doctor in Long Beach, California told us he would help her when no one else would.

It seemed like a miracle when I visited her in Southern California, she had gained substantial weight, she was on her 4th round of chemotherapy and she was walking on her own. However this hope was short lived, because when Mayla returned to Sacramento she caught Pneumonia, and quickly passed. I’m not a writer. I’m not very good at articulating my thoughts.

But what I know is that it doesn’t matter if you are black, white, gay or straight, cancer affects everyone. And it sucks. Live for now. Cherish people around you and take the time out of your day to smile and be happy. Because if there is one thing that I will remember about Mayla, it’s that she was always happy. Mayla was the definition of a beautiful human being, and while everyone is deeply saddened by her passing, we are happy she is no longer sick. We are all blessed to have known her.