Megan Rachel Puglise was born July 17th, 2003. She was born with Down Syndrome in Wheaton, IL.  Megan spent just over thirty days in the NICU and then had open heart surgery at five months old to repair an ASD and VSD.  She smiled for the first time two days after surgery and has never stopped smiling and lighting up the world.

Megan has one brother and two dogs.  She currently has one hockey billet brother, but has had others in the past that are still considered family. Since Megan was born, she has spent many nights and weekends in the hockey rink watching and cheering on her brother, his teammates, and billet brothers.  She tried skating a few years ago, but decided that cheering on her brothers was better.  Hockey has been such a big part of her life as we have hosted hockey players and her brother has lived with other families.  With all of these connections, you can say it has become one big family.

Megan also enjoys dance, bowling, and watching movies.  Megan has participated in rhythmic gymnastics in the Special Olympics through WDSRA (Western DuPage Special Rec Association) and has won numerous gold, silver, and bronze medals.  All of Megan’s “brothers” turned-out to support her when she competed in the Special Olympics. She has also taken years of Ballet and Jazz classes.

Megan was asked to be participate and be a featured artist with Jake Max and to paint something she loved.  Well, it was a tough choice, but hockey and her brothers are her true love.  Megan had some help with her painting as she struggles with some motor skills.  Due to her reduced motor skills, her aunt Ginny helped with the sketch and Megan used a technique of small dotting which made it easier for her.  If you look closely you can see the individual dots.

Her art work is called “Megan’s Hockey Family”.  Over the years she has touched and been touched by so many people through hockey that and we felt everyone could see themselves as one of the people in this painting.  Whether you were her brother(s) on the ice, a coach or a teammate, a “cool dad” standing in the corner, a sister, girlfriend, or family member in the stands getting your hair played with or shared a hug, Megan has spent time with you and probably had an impact on your life.

Megan’s love, kindness, and joy will continue to touch so many and we thank Jake Max for giving her the opportunity to share her story.

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