When Ramapo College senior AnnaKatharine Miehe began planning the inaugural NJ Walks For TS at Ramapo College for her senior project, she knew some form of entertainment would be needed. It didn’t take her long to think of the perfect solution: Her 24-year-old brother, William, has Tourette Syndrome and plays in a reggae-and-blues band.
Once AnnaKatharine told William that his life was the inspiration for choosing this event as her senior project, William and his yet-to-be-named three-piece band graciously offered to bring their style of music – which William describes as a cross between The Grateful Dead and The Band – to the walk, which will take place Sunday, April 14, beginning at Ramapo College’s iconic archway.
In fact, he can’t wait to jam for the crowd of students and members of the TS community who will be walking to benefit the statewide education outreach and peer advocacy programs of the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associate Disorders (NJCTS), which has been offering many avenues of support to the many Garden State families affected by TS for more than a decade.
Miehe and his bandmates will perform throughout the afternoon as part of a full slate of awareness and advocacy activities surrounding the event.
“I’m ineffably proud of my sister and am excited to be a part of this event and to play for the occasion,” said William Miehe, who was diagnosed with TS, OCD and ADD in third grade. “It’s my sister’s event for Tourette, and I’m just trying to support her. If I can do that by playing music, that’s great. Tourette is something I have. It doesn’t define me. And it shouldn’t define anyone. I believe that’s what an event like this should be all about.”
Miehe hopes the walk will be a prime opportunity for not only he and his band, but the entire New Jersey Tourette Syndrome community, to network with others who are affected by the misunderstood, misdiagnosed, inherited neurological disorder that affects 1 in 100 children and adults.
The walk will take place rain or shine April 14, with registration beginning at 1 p.m. and the walk commencing at 2 p.m. The cost is $10 for current Ramapo College students only (must show college ID and/or have a valid Ramapo e-mail address; not applicable for Ramapo faculty or former students) and $22.50 for the general public.
To sign up for the walk, visit the NJ Walks For TS at Ramapo College registration page.
To help AnnaKatharine Miehe and NJCTS fundraise on behalf of the New Jersey TS community, visit the NJ Walks For TS at Ramapo College donations page.
To volunteer your time and talents on the day of the event, please call NJCTS Volunteer Coordinator Marty Butterfield at 908-575-7350 or send an e-mail with “Ramapo Walk Volunteer” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about NJCTS’ programs and services or the origins of the NJ Walks For TS initiative, please visit www.njcts.org.