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It’s a marathon effort raising funds for Tourette Syndrome

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story was written by Diana Sholley of the San Bernardino County Sun in California and first appeared on their website, www.sbsun.com, on August 11. This is not the full story. To read the complete version, click here.

The purpose of posting this story is to give people seeking to fundraise for the 3rd annual Youth Advocate 5K Family Run/Walk on November 3 in Mendham, N.J., some ideas on how to bring in donations. If you read this story and encounter similar success, we want to hear from you either by e-mail at teens@njcts.org or in the comments section below!

Nathan Williams started Alta Loma Junior High School this year with new school supplies, a positive attitude and a fundraising goal of $1,000.

Nathan, a 12-year-old Fontana resident, is the leader of Team N8, pronounced “Nate,” which will participate in the Disneyland 5K Run/Walk Marathon “One Lap Closer to a Cure” on Sept. 1 to raise money for the Tourette Syndrome Association.

You see, Nathan himself has Tourette Syndrome. He was diagnosed when he was 7. And, like thousands of others who suffer from the neurological disorder – he hopes for a cure.

“Just knowing that I’m fighting for a cure, not only for me, but for everyone who has TS, keeps me going,” said Nathan, whose parents Scott and Jackie Williams are supportive of their son. “It’s for a good cause.”

In the past four years Nathan has developed strategies for dealing with his tics such as chewing gum or carrying a stress ball, but what helps him most is helping others with TS deal with their symptoms as well as everyday life.

“When others who have TS come and talk to me I just try and get them through the bad times. Sometimes I can help — sometimes I can’t,” he said. “I try and tell them, ‘Don’t get mad at yourself because of your Tourette’s — you can’t help it.’ ”

Nathan has taken ownership not only of his Tourette Syndrome but his commitment to raise money as well as awareness, his father Scott says.

Earlier this month Team N8 held a fundraiser at the Rancho Cucamonga Red Brick Pizza and Nathan was in charge.

“Nathan handed out fliers to restaurants, hotels and businesses himself,” Scott said. “(At the fund-raiser) he personally thanked everyone who came in and answered questions and just made a point of getting the word out. I know it’s not easy for him sometimes, but we’re so proud of him putting himself out there.”

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