For nearly a decade, the advocate-formed event “NJ Walks for TS” has been serving as a day of fun, advocacy, awareness, and empowerment on behalf of NJ kids and families living with Tourette Syndrome.
The first New Jersey walk for TS took place in Mendham, New Jersey in 2010. The idea for “Mendham Walks for TS” was created by a teenager who was inspired by one of her cousins who had Tourette Syndrome. It was extremely successful, bringing in more than 300 participants and funding for NJCTS youth and education outreach programs.
Since that first walk, NJCTS has hosted events in Mahwah, Princeton, Medford Lakes and Ridgefield Park. But families wanted more – they wanted to advocate in their own towns and not just with a walk – they wanted to design their own events. So we answered the call for a “Virtual” walk, in order to meet the needs of our on-the-go families and to ensure the greatest impact.
During 2018, NJCTS introduced the very first virtual walk. Virtual walks encourage every participant to host their own fundraising and awareness event within their community anytime in March, April or May. The teams organized local walks, held family fun days, organized beach clean-ups, and even planted trees to celebrate Tourette Syndrome Awareness. They also met with their local officials to obtain proclamations supporting June 4 as TS Awareness Day.
Participants like the freedom to advocate as they choose – at their own pace and leisure. NJ Walks for TS Virtual Walks encourage self-advocacy and close-knit support among those living with TS and their friends, family and community.
NJ Walks for TS promotes awareness, acceptance, action, and advocacy of Tourette Syndrome and its associated disorders. This event is about fun and empowerment for kids, by kids, and about kids. It is a chance to stand up and step out to break the stigma attached to TS and show your support for friends, family, and neighbors living with this misunderstood neurological disorder. All funds raised support NJCTS programs including education outreach, scholarships and awareness.
Today, NJ Walks for TS program raises awareness in every corner of the state – from High Point to Cape May – and raises thousands of dollars for NJCTS programs. Adults, kids and families: join us in making a difference.