Jen Heicklen and Maureen Faber have a lot in common. They both own local businesses—Jen and her husband Steve own Jersey Pools and Spas and Maureen owns Medford Fitness. They both support their community. They both have children. But what brings them together these days is the fact that they both have daughters with Tourette Syndrome.
Together, they’re the force bringing NJ Walks for TS to Medford Lakes on September 20th.
“We consider ourselves very fortunate as this disorder is not life threatening, however it is heartbreaking,” said Jen of her two daughters Ana and Ava.
Like many kids with TS, Maureen’s daughter Hayley has dealt with feeling socially unaccepted.
“As a parent, I’m compassionate for every ‘Hayley’ in the world, and for every parent who also helplessly watches their children battle with the consequences of this disorder,” said Maureen.
Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements or sounds known as tics. TS is frequently accompanied by ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mental health issues and learning disabilities. As many as 1 in 100 children exhibit symptoms of TS, with onset of symptoms beginning around age 7 which concurrently challenge a child’s physical and emotional well-being.
“There are almost as many people who suffer from TS as there are people who suffer from diseases more familiar to the public such as autism,” said Maureen. “But, sadly, there are not nearly the amount of advocates who have committed to help the children who are plagued by Tourette.”