About the solution
Sarah Baldwin, Mary Gregorian and Julie Nemerson suffer form Tourette syndrome and have created a comic book, based on their own experiences, that shines a new light on their condition. The story follows Trisha, a teenage girl with Tourette syndrome who would twitch and make sounds she couldn’t control and was bullied at school. Until one day, Tritsha realizes that her quirks, what made her different, were actually her biggest strengths – her superpower! So, Trisha decided to use her powers to help other who also felt different and became a superhero – Twitcha!
Sarah illustrated the book and wrote the story along with the help of Mary and Julie. The three girls met in the Summer of 2017, while attending a youth program for teenagers with Tourette Syndrome that promotes self-advocacy, self-leadership and resilience. During the program they were required to develop a group project and that’s when the idea for the comic book came up. They created a character that showed a hero who had to face the same challenges they faced. “We modeled her after what we wished we would have had when we were younger. Instead of letting TS hold her back, she saw it as an opportunity to do some good in the world.” Sarah explains. “We wanted Twitcha to overcome but not conform for the sake of how everyone thinks she should act. She accepts her tics and her differences and decides to spread awareness to help others. Her story is not much different than mine, Mary’s or Julie’s.”
They’re project impressed Faith Rice, the executive director of the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS), who asked them to polish it up and helped them turn it into a real book. “When we saw the first rough copy of ‘Twitcha,’ we loved the message. It’s truly a labor of love by three young ladies who understand the pain of stigma and isolation that many of our young people with Tourette syndrome face.”
Now, digital copies of the book are available online and print version are available to purchase at the NJCTS website. The NJCTS is also offering free copies to schools and libraries, to raise awareness about this condition and help educate the public.
More information: https://njcts.org/programs/education-outreach-program/twitcha/
Online version: https://issuu.com/njcts/docs/_twitcha_final_final
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