Justin Cogbill Hospitalized
During a Sacramento, California horse show in June, Justin Cogbill suddenly collapsed while building a course before a class. The young man, who can often be found building courses at shows, lost feeling in his feet and legs. He has been in the hospital ever since, having been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Unfortunately, Justin’s story does not end with his illness. Shortly after he went to the hospital, his apartment, which he shares with his wife and newborn son, was robbed of household electronics—their television, DVD player, gaming console, and more were taken. In addition, his mother, who was only in her 50s, passed away unexpectedly in her sleep just two days after visiting Justin in the hospital.
Justin’s friends, Ben Chisholm and Ali Telatnik, stepped in to see how she and the horse show community could help Justin and his family. Ali explained, “The shows in the area are actively fundraising, donating and spreading the word, and 100% of the funds raised go to Justin. As far as donations go, we are seeking anything we can get. He is on state funding, so thankfully his medical bills are taken care of. Unfortunately because his son is so young, his girlfriend is unable to work as she must care for the child, so that leaves rent, utilities, groceries, etc. We have raised only enough to cover maybe another month or two.” The household electronics have also been replaced.
Ali, Ben Chisholm, Debbie Stone of Night Horse Farm, show secretary Nancy Gannon and others are setting up what will be “The Oxer Foundation” (Official, eXperts, Equestrians Relief). Ali said, “It will be a 501(c)3 not-for-profit and will go to benefit those in need in our unique horse show ‘family.’”
While the group works to set up the foundation, funds are still needed to help Justin. Checks for donations (payable to Jumping Horse Shows), or gift cards for places like Walmart and Target can be mailed to:
PO Box 2890
Fair Oaks, Ca. 95628
“Until we are able to open the bank account we are using the savings account of our business per Justin’s request and handling all payment of bills,” Ali explained. “He is an outstanding young man who is in need of some serious help right now.”
Guillain-Barre syndrome is an uncommon disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. It usually begins with weakness and numbness in the extremities that spread until eventually the whole body is paralyzed. While most people do recover fully, some experience long-term effects, and recovery make take over two years. There is no known cure, although there are treatments available to reduce the length of the illness. While Justin responded to treatment at first, he regressed and his doctors are considering dialysis. Further information about Guillain-Barre Syndrome can be found at www.guillainbarresyndrome.net.
Further inquiries about Justin can be directed to Ali Telatnik at email@example.com.
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