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Wisconsin Athletics | February 9, 2017

Wisconsin Badgers surprise young fan with unique experience

MADISON, Wis. — When Megan Pharo arrived at the women's hockey game on Friday, Jan. 27 against Minnesota State, she had no idea what was in store for her. As someone who has looked up to the members of the Wisconsin women's hockey team for many years, throughout many struggles with her health, the experience that followed at the LaBahn Arena that day was extra special for Megan.

The women's hockey team surprised Megan by giving her the opportunity to watch pre-game warmups from the bench, ride on the Zamboni, and meet the team following the game. Being able to meet the team full of women she considers her role models came at a time when Megan herself needed encouragement and support.

Megan Pharo, a 14-year-old loyal Badgers women's hockey supporter, is suffering from a brain tumor and vision loss because of it. While her battle keeps her from playing her favorite sport, she doesn't let that get in the way of cheering on the team.

"It was an amazing experience. Megan has been through a lot with losing eyesight in one eye and having to restart chemotherapy treatment on a brain tumor," said Cody Pharo, Megan's brother who helped plan the surprise. "It was really great that she got to see and meet the team that she looks up to so much."

The experience was equally as inspiring for the women's hockey team as it was for Megan.

"She is the real hero and the definition of strength," said Ann-Renée Desbiens, senior goaltender for the women's hockey team. "She is a fighter and we enjoyed having her as much as she enjoyed being there."

Megan's experience was part of the Badgers Give Back Wish Upon a Badger program. Through this program, deserving recipients are invited to fulfill their dreams alongside Badger student-athletes by getting a behind-the-scenes look at a Wisconsin Athletics team.

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