Alyssa Tibbetts

Having Tourette’s Syndrome has really opened my eyes to the world around me. I discovered so many people just within the walls of my high school who shared the same condition as me. I found a great support system for when I’m upset about my tics. For example, about a month prior to my diagnosis, there was a point in time where I went to the hospital three times in one weekend. I had been thrown into, what I now know as, a fit of tics. My left shoulder was repeatedly slamming into my ear, to the point that my mother had to put her hand in between them to keep my arm from damaging my ear. I was in so much pain that I was given Valium through an IV in hopes to stop the tic. I found out a few days later that my mom had taken a video of me while I was asleep in my hospital bed, and we saw that the tic continued even though I was sedated. It wasn’t nearly as harsh, but it never stopped.

I was so anxious about what was happening to me. Luckily, I had friends who have Tourette’s Syndrome who noticed my condition, and they talked to me and gave me multiple coping mechanisms to help me get through. Within a few weeks, I was in the office of a Tourette’s specialist at the Commission for Children in Lexington, Ky. I was almost immediately diagnosed with Tourette’s, and we soon found out that I had it for most of my life. I was put on Guanfacine to help my muscles relax and to slow my tics. I’m so thankful for the doctors who have helped me through this journey. I’ve been very fortunate in having the resources I need to help my condition. I feel that I deserve this scholarship, because even though I’ve had to miss a lot of school for doctor appointments, I have still strived to do my best and exceed expectations given to me. I know what I want to do with my life, but I don’t have the funds to afford the college education that I need to reach my goals. With this scholarship, so many opportunities would be afforded, and I’d get the education I so desire. I love learning, and I really want to get a master’s degree. I will not let the daily struggles of Tourette’s Syndrome keep me from what I’m passionate about. I’m determined to make a good life for myself, and it all starts with being able to afford the education I need.