This is the essay I submitted to the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS) for their 2014 Children’s Scholarship Award contest. I hope you enjoy it!
My grandmother always told me that every person was put on this earth for a purpose. Some people bring music to the world or find new cures for different diseases. I, on the other hand, was placed on this earth to spread tolerance for those living with Tourette Syndrome.
I could go on about how horrible it is to have Tourette Syndrome and how it has been embarrassing, depressing and sometimes painful. I could go on about how it has negatively affected my life. However, I am past that stage in my life.
Through my work as a Youth Ambassador and a Patient-Centered Educator, I have become confident about living life with this disorder and have become grateful that I was blessed with the opportunity to make a difference in the Tourette’s community. I will share that Tourette Syndrome has positively changed my life.
Tourette Syndrome has molded me into the person I am today. Having this disorder has brought me to new and exciting places to meet amazing and inspirational people. I want to show people the positives over the negatives of living life with Tourette Syndrome.
Having Tourette Syndrome is like living your life on repeat. Same tics every day, the same sideways looks from others, and the same need to explain myself over and over again. Every day I share my story in order to educate the world about the disorder, to clarify that having Tourette Syndrome rarely entails shouting curse words and absurd phrases.
I can truly say that having Tourettes Syndrome is a blessing in disguise. It has brought me closer to my friends and family. It has brought me to make new friendships and go places I never thought I would go. I can confidently say ” Hi my name is Grace Hawruk, and I have Tourette Syndrome.”