My name is Emily Carrara, and I am 18 and from New Jersey. The past few years of my life have been crazy. At the age of 11, I learned that my cousin had Tourette’s. When I was 16, he showed me a documentary he filmed and put together himself on his life with Tourette’s. It was clips from when he was younger, now and his family.
I contacted the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome (NJCTS) because I was so touched by my cousin’s story and wanted to do something. I told them I wanted to do a walk to raise awareness for TS.
I started working on it in June 2010, going into my junior year of high school. I raised more than $27,000, and I had more than 300 walkers attend. I organized the first walk (5k) for TS, and I am proud to say that I am going to turn it into an annual thing.
It has been a learning experience and has changed my confidence level. It has gotten me closer with my cousins, and the experience of teaching others about this misunderstood disease has been personally rewarding.
This year’s walk is Saturday, Nov. 19, and my goal is to raise $50,000. I hope it is bigger than last year! I am so thankful for everyone who has supported me. My knowledge of TS is growing every day, and I am open to anyone for talking and learning more about it.
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. And come back tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 16) to Teens4TS for the story of her cousin, T.J. who filmed the documentary!