My name is T.J. Stanley, and I am 18 years old, a senior at Ridge High School and have Tourette Syndrome. First off, I would like to thank you so much for having me express my true thoughts and feelings of Tourette Syndrome. I would like to take this opportunity to share with not only you, but the NJCTS community and everyone about the New Jersey Walks For TS event coming up this Saturday, Nov. 19.
This walk all started when my cousin, Emily Carrara, 18, a senior at Mendham High School, saw the documentary I had made of myself living under the condition of TS that shows how I handle it in everyday life, how people treat me with TS and how I am different from everyone else.
She was so inspired by me, and I had no idea what she had planned. She had thought to herself that she needed to get this disability out there. In other words, expressing it in such a big way that many people would know about it.
At first, I did not want to be a part of the walk last year because Tourette’s was something to me that I did not want certain people to know about. And this just had a negative feeling to me. But I realized the dedication she put into it. She really cares for this and those who have Tourette, and I find it very emotional to see how far she has come and how much awareness we have raised since last year.
It really speaks to me that one person can make such a big difference in not just my life, but for many lives. It is a great feeling, and I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am for this walk. Please enjoy and feel free to comment — I am all ears.
More information about the second annual New Jersey Walks For TS event at Borough Park in Mendham, N.J., is available by visiting http://www.active.com/donate/MendhamWalksForTS. Come out to the walk on Saturday, Nov. 19, to meet T.J. and his cousin Emily, as well as participate and donate!