Those who know the game, know that it is often an outlet for some children who face challenges outside of the rink. When Hollie Centko’s third child Jake was born with a rare genetic disorder and given a low probability that he would walk, she knew they were in for a journey. Through her and her family’s dedication along with Jake’s never quit attitude he made huge gains, setting goals and blowing them out of the water. Being a hockey family, Jake was drawn to the ice and it has been a source of therapy both mentally and physically ever since lacing up for the first time.
Knowing that his son’s primary method of communication during his younger years was signing, Hollie feared her coaches wouldn’t understand the signs he was using so she did what any strong Hockey Mom would do and signed up to coach.
Hollie says, “Jake makes us laugh every day. He doesn’t let his differences stop him, he takes on the challenges head on. When he first chose hockey as a sport I feared so much knowing he’s not your “typical” boy, but as he’s grown I see how he didn’t just choose hockey, but that he’s made to play. Being smaller is just another challenge he has to face both on and off the ice. Being on the ice builds him up to be the biggest one out there.”
Here is to you Hollie – and to Jake, an inspiration.