June 13, 2023 By Michael Dorgan
More than 200 people took part in a fun 5K run/walk in Astoria on June 11 to raise awareness for Tourette Syndrome.
The participants, most of whom donned commemorative tops, raced around Astoria Park in the warm summer weather to support the Tourette Association of America (TAA), a national organization that serves those living with Tourette Syndrome.
Tourette Syndrome is a condition of the nervous system which causes people to have “tics” or sudden twitches, movements or sounds which sufferers often do repeatedly. Around 1 in every 50 children in the US has Tourette Syndrome or another tic disorder, according to the CDC.
The family-friendly run aimed to generate funds for TAA, which helps support families affected by the condition and carries out further research.
The 5K run/walk also sought to bring attention to Tourette Syndrome, with about 50 percent of those affected being undiagnosed, according to the TAA.
The day’s event also featured a children’s dash while a live DJ was on hand to play music and create a festive atmosphere. There were also activities for children as well as face painting and prizes given away.
TAA CEO Amanda Talty said that the event is an important opportunity to raise awareness for Tourette Syndrome and tic disorders.
“But this is so much more than an awareness run,” Talty said. “It’s a chance for us to come together, unify around our shared experiences, learn from one another, and strengthen our collective resilience.”
The run/walk came as Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month – May 15 to June 15 — is drawing to a close.
Meanwhile, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams also attended the event. Williams said that he, too, suffers from Tourette Syndrome and praised the participants for making more people understand the condition.
“When I was diagnosed, there was nowhere near the current level of understanding or awareness about Tourette Syndrome,” Williams said. “That we can all come together for this event — and that I could become an elected official — speaks volumes about how that’s changed. People believe that Tourette’s and other conditions limit what someone can do. In my experience, it just changes how we do it. With Tourette’s, I’m always moving and I’m glad that we continue moving forward, through events like this, to increase awareness, advance research and build support.”