Maggie Strong

By Anne Bloomer

cya3This past summer, Maggie Hernandez, mother of CYA U19 Jenessa Hernandez, experienced an accident that would alter her life.

One afternoon while driving along a state park road in Fox Lake, IL, a truck swerved into oncoming traffic and crashed into a motorcycle driven by Maggie’s friend, Matt Stautz, whose daughter also played hockey in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Maggie was a passenger and the outcome was tragic. There were two fatalities and five were injured. Maggie was airlifted to Advocate Hospital in Park Ridge, IL and immediately rushed to the ICU. She underwent seven surgeries to repair broken bones and spent three and a half weeks in the hospital. Following this, Maggie was transferred to Avanti Wellness and Rehabilitation Center in Niles, IL, where she spent nine weeks recovering and undergoing physical therapy.

Despite all of the pain and suffering, Maggie persevered and exemplified strength that few can appreciate. It really does take a special kind of person to handle a situation like this and maintain a positive outlook, which Maggie has throughout.

cya5For this reason, the CYA U19 team has decided to dedicate their season to Maggie. They were inspired by her persistence and most of all, her extraordinary strength. The team designed shirts for the new season with the words, “Maggie Strong” written on the front and “Love. Family, Forever” written on the back.

The CYA U19s thought that Maggie needed one too. They planned a surprise visit to the Avanti Wellness and Rehabilitation Center before a practice in early October. The girls all piled into Maggie’s room to wish her well, present her with the t-shirt and announce that they had dedicated their season to her. Maggie was very grateful for the team’s visit. After receiving her shirt, she stated, “CYA is truly a family.”

Although Maggie still has some time to go before returning to full health, she has improved immensely in these last few months. As a program, CYA continues to support Maggie with a family first mentality. We wish the Hernandez family the best and are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.


If you are interested in helping Maggie, please click HERE to visit her Go Fund Me page. Any contribution is greatly appreciated and we hope you can help!

Categories: Girls' Hockey, Tier I Hockey

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