Inspired by her cousin, Emily Carrara joins NJCTS to launch awareness walks
Mendham, N.J. — Emily Carrara put her summer vacation to extraordinary use.
While other teenagers were poolside, Emily spent a good portion of her summer vacation on conference calls and soliciting donations and support for “Mendham Walks for TS” the first in the “New Jersey Walks for TS” series of awareness events.
“My cousin has Tourette Syndrome, and I wanted to show people what it’s about,” said Emily.
The 17-year-old Mendham Borough junior has called her community to its feet and is organizing a major event to bring positive awareness to a very misunderstood disorder. On Saturday, November 20, Emily is leading the first New Jersey Walks for TS event in Mendham at Borough Park from 9:30 to 1 p.m.
Tourette Syndrome is an inherited neurological disorder seen in as many as 1 in 100 children according to the Center for Disease Control. It’s characterized by uncontrollable motor or vocal movements known as tics and is frequently accompanied by other disorders including ADHD, OCD, learning disabilities, depression, anxiety and sleep problems. TS is a spectrum disorder which ranges from very severe to mild. It usually appears when a child is 6 or 7 years old. It affects all races and ethnic groups. There is no cure for Tourette Syndrome but early diagnosis and support are critical in dealing with this disorder.
Emily contacted the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome in July to announce her plans for a walk. According to NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice, it was a phone call that couldn’t have come at a better time.
“For years, people have told us ‘you have to have a walk!’ and given our recent budget cuts, we’ve been short staffed to pull off such an event ourselves,” said Rice. “That’s why we’re delighted Emily and her family came to us to put together a model event we’d like to replicate in other towns throughout the state.”
For more information about the walk, or to register, go to http://MendhamWalksforTS.dojiggy.com or visit www.njcts.org.