BOXFORD – Superintendent Michael Harvey and Principal Mary Jo Carabatsos are pleased to share that Patrick Cogan recently visited Masconomet Regional High School to help ninth-grade students foster a better understanding of inclusion, belonging, and facing adversity.
Cogan, who has Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), visited the school on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to speak about his experience with the disease. FA is a rare genetic disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system, and may result in movement problems, muscle weakness, speech problems, and more.
Cogan explained how the disease affects his body, but added that he has pushed himself to compete in marathons and triathlons. He noted that much of his success has come from the help of others and stressed the importance of learning how to ask for help.
He also urged students to view adversity they may face as a challenge that can be overcome. He explained that when we push ourselves, we can do more than we think.
Students were able to meet Cogan’s service dog, Knight, who Cogan says helps him live independently.
“I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Patrick for coming to our school and sharing his experience overcoming adversity with our students so candidly,” Principal Carabatsos said. “He taught students many valuable lessons, including the importance of understanding each other’s differences. That is a key step in fostering inclusion, acceptance, and belonging.”
Students participated in a variety activities surrounding inclusion, belonging and facing adversity throughout the day.
Cogan, a native of Lynn, and his family have established The Project Wheels Foundation to shed light on Friedreich’s ataxia, raise funds for research, and help search for a cure.
Masconomet Regional High School wishes to thank Cogan for sharing his story. The School also thanks teacher Laura Greeley, a longtime friend of Cogan, who facilitated the event.