Kailey Baca

Kailey Baca

Being brave requires motivation to press on each day in the face of adversity. It means
getting back up when you’ve been knocked down and putting aside negativity that makes you
question who are and what you stand for. Bravery requires strength which is something one
must have in order to fight life’s hardest battles. My life battle has made me question my identity
and has developed a strong individual who fights against the odds of being diagnosed with
Tourette’s Syndrome.

At the age of 10, I was diagnosed with a form of TS (Tourette’s Syndrome) called ticks.
This diagnosis caused an affliction of feelings within myself. I was devastated by this knowledge
because I feared my life would never be the same. Going to school with TS made me aware of
my vulnerability to the judgment of others and the possibility of bullying. The more challenging
aspect of having TS was living day to day. Tasks such as cleaning, doing homework, and
staying contained in class were almost impossible because of the random outbursts of
movement and noises the impairment caused. Some of these outbursts included banging my
hands against objects, scratching that caused bleeding, grunting sounds, and jaw movement.
Emotional outbursts were often a way to relieve the feelings, such as anger and depression,
which I had contained inside myself. I felt alone because no one was able to understand my
difficulties and emotions. In the midst of the displeasure and frustration of trying to lead a normal
life, I discovered an outlet as a way to cope with my affliction through the power of music.

Music and singing have always been an important aspect of my life. I fell in love with
music at the age of 3 and at 14, I taught myself how to play the guitar and wrote my first song
shortly after. Singing has always been the part of life that completes me and represents who I
am. When I sing or play guitar, the world fades and my TS desists as if it had never existed.
Music has been a gift to me and has provided an outlet to express myself through the creativity
of songwriting.

Singing and songwriting have helped express the emotions I have endured during the
battle against my TS influencing many songs that I have written. Writing has provided a sense
of relief from my TS and has inspired me to pursue my dream of becoming a singer/songwriter
and an inspiration for others.

Music has influenced me to become a stronger person and has helped me realize that I
am just like everyone else. It has driven me to believe in my dreams and has made me realize
that I can do anything despite my difference. My life has been significantly impacted by music
because it has taught me to be brave in times of trial and tribulation. I am fighter who “finds the
courage to believe” in myself even through life’s toughest battles and challenges.