Aaron Farnsworth was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of 3. He has associated weakness throughout his trunk, arms and legs.
Due to his disability, he is fully dependent for transfers and most activities of daily living. He has limited range of motion, and although he understands his disability, at times it has been frustrating for Aaron to ask for assistance, said Allison Hahn, intervention specialist at Clear Fork High School.
In her McGowan Courage Award nomination letter, Hahn described Aaron as a very bright young man who's extremely quiet and shy.
"He continually shows courage by having to step outside of his comfort zone to ask for help, advocate for himself and obtain basic needs that many of us take for granted," Hahn said.
He has been fully included in the regular classroom for all subject areas and obtained excellent grades over the past four years. He had enough credits to graduate early. He finished his coursework in December 2018 and will be graduating with the class of 2019 in May.
He is a member of National Honor Society and was very involved with Boy Scouts over the years.
"Over the last nine years, Aaron has been fortunate enough to have a fabulous one-on-one aide that assisted him at school and many times became his voice, as well as assisted Aaron with daily activities," Hahn said. "Mr. Rinehart was not just his aide -- he has been a friend, a confidant, and so much more for Aaron. Aaron was lucky to have Mr. Rinehart, but Mr. Rinehart would tell you HE is the lucky one to have had the opportunity to work with Aaron."
Hahn said what separates Aaron from other students is his character.
"Aaron is well-respected and a hard worker. He never complained, but continued to persevere, rising above his disability," she said. "I cannot express enough what an excellent candidate Aaron is for the Mansfield Rotary Club McGowan Courage Award. He is the true definition of what courage is and looks like."
The Rotary McGowan Courage Award is supported by these sponsors: OhioHealth, Richland Bank, Haring Realty, Mechanics Bank, Gorman Rupp, North Central State College, Richland Source, Shelby Rotary Club, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, Mansfield Art Center, The Renaissance Theatre, Snyder Funeral Home, Hamilton Insurance Group, Mansfield Area Y, Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development, Mansfield Memorial Homes, Buckeye Horizon, Chuck Warner & Associates, Baker's Collision Repair, Catalyst Life Services, Miller's Diamond Jewelry, Scott and Adena King, Charles Cook, Jon Young, Dan Phallen, Gary Stroup, Harold Davis, Steve Cummins, Karen Redfearn, Scott and Mary Young, Betty Preston, Pam Sigenthaler, Melanie Riggleman, DJ Daniels, Win Meek, Walt Chaffee, Pat Chilcote, and David Crawford.