My name is Patrick Cogan, and I have FA! When was I diagnosed? Funny story; I was symptomatic probably around 5-6, I was misdiagnosed at 11 and that mistake wasn’t corrected until my balance got so bad I caved and found a doctor. I was 25!
Immediately following my diagnosis I started putting the pieces together, all of the little ‘odd’ things started making sense; Coughing till I gag (out of nowhere), my legs flinching at night, my hands trembling trying to grab a beverage. It was like a light bulb in my life just was turned on, THEN, came the darkness. Walking issues, fatigue, the risk of heart disease…all the negative possibilities FA brings with it.
Flash back to 2009, I lost my dad to his battle with cancer. In response to this my siblings and I got our mom bike so she could ride out some of her grief. As a team and in his honor, they raised money and rode at the Livestrong charity ride in Pennsylvania in 2010.
In late 2010 I decided I wanted to start challenging myself. My first goal was to buy a recumbent trike. Check! Then I wanted to attempt the 25 mile ride at Livestrong. It hurt, but, I did it.
Then by happenstance and random events that started over a year earlier I applied for and was given a grant by FARA which gave me ‘Bumblebee’.
I applied for FARA’s Ataxian Athlete Initiative grant, never thinking I would actually be chosen. After approaching my friend/trainer, April, about writing a recommendation for me, the game was afoot. A few months later I was driving to a baseball game, and i got the call that would be the cornerstone of growing my cycling career. Not only did I receive the grant, but it covered the entire cost of the Catrike I was hoping to purchase.
That is when I decided go big!!
This disease tells us what we can’t do, what’s too hard, what we’ll need assistance for. I don’t like that! Don’t tell me what I can’t do because I’m only going to want it more and when I get it let the world know!!
SOOOO, that being said I have set athletic goals that I WILL achieve!
- Century Ride
- 75 miles at Livestrong Philly (wicked hilly)
On June 30th I will attempt and complete the first, the century! With my trainers, mother, sister, and another half dozen friends (including Richie Currier and Kyle Bryant) and family we will set out at 5:30 am on completing my first challenge! Not only will there be a dozen or so friends and family by my side but there will be even more waiting for us at my trainers house, our impromptu finish line for a celebration. It may take me 9 hours it may take 12. But; at the end of the day when I’m drinking an ice cold beverage it will be with a hundred miles behind me.