MEGAN JUSCZYK

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CEO

For Kids’ Sake Foundation

Age: 38

ABOUT HER: Born in Uxbridge and grew up in Sutton. Has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Hawaii where she played Division 1 soccer. Lives in Plainville with, she says, her “loving husband Glen, hilarious daughter Malia, and fist-bumping son, Kole.”

WHY YOUR FIELD? I have to admit I wish I never did get into this field. You see, my husband and I co-founded For Kids’ Sake Foundation after we saw my daughter go through a brutal 15-month Stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer protocol that included chemotherapy, radiation and a stem cell transplant, among other things. We saw firsthand the need for pediatric cancer research funding and learned that research was just sitting and waiting for funding while pediatric cancer remained the number one disease killer of kids in the United States. So while I will never be able to be grateful my daughter got cancer, I am forever grateful for all this nonprofit has accomplished because of this incredible community.

BEST CAREER ADVICE: Get feedback and continue to improve yourself.

HARDEST LESSON LEARNED: Hard lessons are often the most valuable and one of the hardest and earliest lessons I learned was that it was up to me to create my own happiness. I was a step-kid with great parents but not a lot of guidance. I remember waking up unhappy as a child and problem-solving ways to fix that. I figured out that lying made me feel bad and being active made me feel good. I’m glad I had enough support to find those solutions and I think the biggest honor is to (hopefully) be that support so that my kids can have the confidence to find their own solutions.

MENTOR(S): My mentors are Tina Langone, Patrice Kelly and Julie Kelly. These are people that inspire me every single day to do better and think bigger.

GIVING BACK: For Kids’ Sake Foundation is the major charity I give my time to (I don’t take a paycheck) and our family donates to. However, it is definitely not the only one: I’m embarrassed to think how little time or monetary donations I used to give before seeing the need firsthand. Now I volunteer at the school PTO, participate in fundraising events at least once a month and give to abuse victims, autism, adult cancer and other pediatric cancer foundations. You know what they say, “When you know better, you do better.”

WHAT TALENT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD MOST THAT YOU DON'T NOW? I wish I was a more adept writer.

WHAT AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS HAVE YOU RECEIVED IN YOUR CAREER? Although not meant for me specifically, I receive lots of heartfelt thank-you cards made out to the Foundation from the families we help and they mean the world to me!