In my 18 years of life, I have been through a lot. As a person with tourette’s syndrome, I have often faced hardship. One of the most important lessons that I have learned is to be accepting of who you are. When I was younger, I was often ashamed of my condition. It was very hard for me to be in social settings, because for a period of time I was ticking very loudly, and typically once or twice a second. I often had people asking me why I was always doing one thing or another. There were times it was so bad I couldn’t go to other peoples houses or be in quiet situations. My parents thought they may have to homeschool me at one point. Thankfully, I was determined to be just like everyone else, and through counselling and medication I was able to get my ticks under control and go through schooling just like everyone else.

Getting to where I am today seemed impossible, and I am so grateful to have the opportunities I have been given, and the help I have received. The experiences I will never forget are the times I spent in the Children’s Hospital. As a fifth grader, I was having very severe anxiety, and a lot of my anxieties were medical based. At that time, I was unaware of what was going on with me, but I was extremely scared. My parents took me to my neurologist, Dr. Weisleader, who diagnosed me with tourettes and anxiety. I was scared to even enter the hospital, because I was so scared I’d get sick. He referred me to a woman named Heather who works up there, and she helped me to redirect my nervous energy, and helped me to calm my ticks down a lot. I owe a lot of my success to her. The time she spent with me and her patience towards me meant a lot to my family and I, and I will always remember that.

Living a life with tourette’s is never easy, but learning how to deal with it is key to a happy life. I am proud of who I am, and the things that I have overcome.