Last month seemed to move at lightning speed. I celebrated a few personal milestones this month, turning 40 and completing the NYC Half Marathon. After the race my body was stiff and tired from pounding the NYC pavement, but what I felt doesn’t come close to the aches and pains those with TS endure as a result of their tics. So while I could have spent my Sunday morning in bed, I’m proud I got up early and ran over 13 miles inspired and resolved by the many friends I’ve made in the TS community. I was honored to do it in our signature Team Tourette t-shirt.
On March 3 the Tourette Association of America welcomed and inducted the new class of 2019 Youth Ambassadors. The experience of spending time with these incredible children and their parents is a defining mission moment for me, solidifying the WHY in all that we do. After the training, 150 Youth Ambassadors and their parents, TAA staff and Chapter and Support Group leaders from across the country traveled to the nation’s capital to raise awareness for the most pressing public policy issues facing the Tourette Syndrome community. These priorities include continued government funding, telehealth, appropriations and more. I urge you to learn more about how to get involved and how to join our advocacy efforts, as this is an opportunity to make your voice heard.
To end the month strong, we attended the Wisconsin Chapter’s Tourette Connections Conference led by Ellie Jarvie. Hundreds of community members came out to support the event. I was moved by the large attendance, presentations, and personal stories shared. A particular highlight was learning that Marleen Sundgaard, NASA Engineer and TS advocate, was featured in a recent Rolling Stones article Mission to Mars!