Aside from ‘good exercise’ the event supports NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome
HOWELL, NJ- NJ Walks for TS at Princeton is a 5K walk and family fun run on March 29th. With less than a month to go, now is the best time to register and start getting in shape for spring.
“People won’t be sorry they came” said Youth Co-Chair Ethan Lederman, “they’ll get exercise, meet some great people who have TS, and support this very important cause.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements or sounds known as tics. It often accompanied by other disorders including ADHD, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and learning disabilities. As many as 1 in 100 school children show symptoms of TS, which means there are more than 20,000 New Jersey children living with the disorder.
“It can be really, really difficult to live with TS, because you usually don’t just have TS but TS and a bunch of other disorders,” said Ethan, “It helps if you’ve known someone with TS because it’s hard to describe how it can affect your life and you might be more sympathetic about reminding people not to stare or assume you’re just a ‘bad kid.'”
Ethan met Tess and Paige Kowalski through the family retreat weekend program of the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome (NJCTS). Tess and Paige both have TS, and Tess is the teen responsible for bringing NJ Walks to the Princeton area.
“We’ve had a lot of the same struggles with TS,” said Ethan.
Ethan and the Kowalski’s also share an interest in educating the public about the disorder. Through the NJCTS Youth Advocate Program, the teens travel throughout the state meeting with political leaders, and delivering trainings to peers and healthcare professionals.
“This year, I got to speak to a state senator and Senator [Robert] Menendez’s staff on all the ways I’m very grateful to have NJCTS,” said Ethan, “TS isn’t something people talk about very much.
“I’m very proud to be part of the walk because I know it will be a good one,” said Ethan, “It is very important because it spreads awareness of TS, which not that many people really understand.”
Proceeds from NJ Walks for TS will benefit the Education Outreach Programs of NJCTS, which include youth leadership development, in-services for educators and students, hospital grand rounds presentations for healthcare professionals and scholarships for students with TS.
“NJ Walks for TS is a one-of-a-kind event for kids, by kids,” said NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice, “Our Youth Co-Chair committee is working hard to spread the word and invite the public to join us in a celebration of awareness, advocacy and acceptance.”
With spring and warm weather around the corner, now is the time to prepare for one of the first 5Ks of the season, or simply a stroll with friends and family. Registration, and donations, can be made through www.njcts.org.
NJ Walks for TS at Princeton 5K
Sunday, March 29th
Registration begins at 1 p.m.
Mercer County Park- East Picnic area
1346 Edinburg Rd, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550
To register, or donate, visit www.njcts.org