Special Relationships that bond our Staff to the Students
Benjamin is a ten year old boy with a rare form of atypical HUS which compromises his immune system, requiring him to receive blood transfusions every two weeks. This rare disease has led to retinal hemorrhaging that resulted in Benjamin’s visual impairment.
Ben’s first few years of school were spent in the Norristown School District, where he was not relating with classmates. His parents eventually made the difficult decision to transfer him to a private Philadelphia school that would require Ben to commute over an hour from their home. Benjamin was enrolled in St. Lucy School for Children with Visual Impairments, and he and his parents have been overjoyed with their decision to change schools. St. Lucy is located on the campus of Holy Innocents in the Juniata section of Northeast Philadelphia. At St. Lucy, Ben is surrounded by many classmates who are coping with medical challenges. His mother credits the teachers and CORA as having a significant impact on her son.
Patty Faix, CORA’s Counseling Program Coordinator of Nonpublic Schools, became involved with St. Lucy’s several years ago when Principal Sister Lisa Lettiere requested a support group for students with medical challenges. For the past two years, Patty has offered a weekly support group for selected students at St. Lucy. These meetings have given participating children the opportunity to explore their feelings, discuss areas of concern, develop coping skills and create strong friendships. Patty has developed a special bond with these children who refer to counseling session days as their “favorite day of the week!”
Benjamin’s mother, Natalie, commented, “Counseling has helped him with expressing how he feels and his overall emotional well-being.” His Tuesday sessions with Patty have become such a priority that Ben requests that doctor’s appointments and blood transfusions not be scheduled on days that he has counseling! His mother stated that she is “grateful to CORA because my Benjamin has become self-assured and a happier child altogether.”Read more about School Counseling