Our connection with Tim Howard & NJCTS … in print!

Hi everyone! Some of you may have seen this article on CentralJersey.com last week that talked about “a mother’s connection between her children and a soccer legend.” I just wanted to share with you the e-mail my mom sent the reporter that led to the wonderful story. I hope you enjoy it!

PHOTO BY PAM HERSH/Leslie Kowalski proudly shares a copy of the book, "The Keeper: The Unguarded Story of Tim Howard," about the soccer legend’s life with Tourette Syndrome.
PHOTO BY PAM HERSH/Leslie Kowalski proudly shares a copy of the book, “The Keeper: The Unguarded Story of Tim Howard,” about the soccer legend’s life with Tourette Syndrome.

I know you saw me in the emotional place of just having seen my children beautifully described in a national book, but bringing it home and quietly having the time to read Tim Howard’s book has been a very rewarding experience.  Of course it’s a story of his life in the world soccer stage, but I know that very close to his heart is Tourette/OCD advocacy.

He describes extremely well what it feels like to have tics, sensory issues and compulsions — something that so few people understand.  He also describes his own evolution as a TS advocate and wanting to keep that cause central to his work and how that advocacy grounds him.

It started with contacting the amazing and wonderful Faith Rice (the director of the NJCTS) many years ago, and continued with winning a $50,000 Pepsico grant to support programs for kids with TS (which has ultimately led to the development of the unique and extraordinary Tim Howard Academy — http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/outreach/caring-communities/2014/07/17/us-goalie-tim-howard-gives-face-tourette-syndrome/12795993/  and  http://news.rutgers.edu/feature/world-cup-superstar-tim-howard-inspires-tourette-syndrome-program-making-debut-rutgers/20140720#.VI7ITNxb474), and also joining the NJCTS board of directors so that he can help very directly.

It’s been 3 years since our trip to the UK to meet Tim Howard.  Today, Tess is 15, and is homeschooled; Paige is 11 and attending public school and is thriving.  In many ways our trip to meet Tim Howard (and his mom, who is lovely, too) still looms large in our lives.

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NJ Walks for TS at Princeton is right around the corner!

A few months ago, I talked about the NJ Walks for TS at Mercer County Park (near Princeton township) which will take place on Sunday, April 6. Registration will begin at 1 p.m. and the walk will start at 2 p.m. I’m urging you to please come join me there and help support NJCTS.

The money raised will be applied to the Children’s Scholarship Fund, a program that has helped more than 200 high school seniors with TS. Our goal for this fundraising walk is $10,000, and if we want to be able to achieve this, we will need the support of everyone in the central and southern New Jersey TS community.

This walk can make a big difference! It means so much to me, and it is a wonderful and fun way for us to help NJCTS — which is an important organization to all of us! If you can’t attend the walk, please consider making a donation.

Thank you! Hope to see you there!

Help me raise TS awareness by supporting NJ Walks for TS at Princeton

Hello, I am Tess, and I am a 14-year-old girl with TS.  I have decided to help organize a walk (5K) to raise awareness for TS, this April 6.

The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS) has been a wonderful and important organization to me. They have helped me to deliver presentations to schools, doctors and at other events for more than two years, which has helped me grow and become more confident person and help me with deal with my TS.  They have also supported me and my family throughout the years with struggles and difficulties we have had.

I have attended two of these awareness walks in Mendham over the past few years, and they were inspiring, powerful and fun events that motivated  me to help organize a walk near my home town this spring, in West Windsor Township. The April 6 event will take place at Mercer County Park.

This experience for me has been very powerful so far, and I can’t wait to see it happen!  Raising awareness for Tourette is extremely important, and helping fund organizations which support and help it is very crucial.  Everyone who comes, everyone who helps out, everyone who walks and everyone who sponsors will be raising awareness, and I couldn’t thank them enough for that.