Connor Svrcek

My greatest untold story is my journey to health. I have Tourette’s Syndrome and a number of food allergies. These conditions make it hard to live a normal, teenage life. Despite this I have found ways to adapt and live. If you saw me on the street, you would never guess that this is my untold story.

When I was nine years old, I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, after a few years of experiencing the symptoms of tics. My neurologist said there was no other treatment besides medication to calm my “overactive neurotransmitters”. According to her, there was no hope for a successful future for me without medication.

Then, after a time of medication, we decided to take a different route by seeing a doctor who would look at the underlying cause of the issue rather than only the symptoms. This was when I was diagnosed with all of my food allergies, including dairy, gluten, soy and eggs. So I couldn’t eat pretty much anything a normal kid would be able to eat. I avoided the food and saw major improvements in my symptoms, emotions, and overall health. I started becoming happier, more social and I felt better overall. In addition to avoiding foods, I had to start taking supplements several times a day to give my body what it was lacking.

One of the positive things that has come out of my struggles is that I have become a better leader. My journey has allowed me to connect better with people. I think people want to follow me because of my positive attitude. I can see the bigger picture in life because of what I’ve been through, and I have become more independent. These experiences made me realize that nothing in life is taken care of for you. One must take the initiative and pursue one’s dreams because no one else will do it except you.

I remember one occasion in particular when a friend commented on my health routine, saying what a pain it must be that I can’t just do what everyone else does. But I don’t see it that way. Taking care of one’s self is the most important thing in the world. Your body is the only place you’ve got to live in. I learned that early on. I still struggle with some of these challenges today. In class I suppress my tics so I can focus on the lesson and learn the material. but I have stayed dedicated to improving my health and that is how I got to where I am today. I am excited to look towards my future and continue to live life to the fullest.