KENNEDY – Many community members are beginning to wear teal, the reason why: to spread awareness about Tourettes Syndrome.
Tourettes Awareness Month kicked off this week, and several locals are raising awareness, including a Chautauqua County family who are plagued by the disability.
TS is a rare mental disorder that causes its victim to suffer from uncontrollable tics, which, as Samantha Holmberg explains, can come in many audio or visual forms.
“A simple motor tic would be something as simple as blinking your eyes or rolling your thumb, something like that,” says Samantha Holmberg. “A simple vocal tic could be coughing or clearing your throat, which most people don’t realize that that’s considered a vocal tic. It’s a sound or something they need to perfect, almost like scratching an itch you have.”
The point of Tourettes Awareness Month, to educate community members about the disability, and hopefully, cause less judgeful behavior and inspire others to help. Which is a hurdle for the Holmbergs, along with other situations.
“Sometimes just recognizing that person has Tourettes and recognizing that they are having an uncomfortable situation, you can talk to them and say hey use my science book, or hey don’t worry about that, I’ll get that,” explained Mike Holmberg
Tourettes can affect anyone, and usually shows up before the age of 18.
“I feel like it just makes me more tired and harder to focus, but other than that I don’t think it affects it too much personally,” stated Patrick Holmberg.
The Holmbergs, in association with many local organizations, are working towards raising awareness, and fundraising for their cause.
“We are doing a fundraising through Falconer Printing and Design,“ Samantha Holmburg explained. “All of the profit from that is going to the Tourettes Association of Greater New York Area.”
The Tourettes Association puts on all sorts of events for those affected by TS, usually the group puts on things that those with the syndrome can’t normally attend like movie nights, bowling, and going to theme parks.
For those who would like to learn more about Tourettes or how to help those out there with it, the Holmbergs suggest contacting them at their event Facebook page or to support them through events and their store.