A local teen has been named the official ambassador to the Tourette Association of America’s National Awareness 5k run/walk in Queens.
As their ambassador, Blaise serves as a spokesperson to help educate people on Tourette Syndrome (TS) and Tic Disorders, and to encourage participation in the event on May 20.
“I was officially diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome during my first year of high school and I had a really hard time accepting that this would be something I would deal with for the rest of my life,” said Urato. “Not only was it challenging for me, it was a learning experience for my entire family because we knew very little about TS.”
In 2017, Urato became a Tourette Association of America youth ambassador which helped him to develop friendships with others who have TS and learn how to educate the general population about the neurodevelopmental disorder.
“In honor of National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month, the TAA is delighted to bring together the Tourette syndrome community to raise awareness and foster social acceptance of the condition that affects 1 in every 100 children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old,” said Amanda Talty, Interim CEO of the Tourette Association. “Each year, more and more advocates come from all over the country for this heart-warming and fun race to provide support and improve the lives of those living with Tourette syndrome and other tic disorders.”
The 5k run/walk was organized to raise awareness and funds for the Tourette Association of America, which has emerged as the premier national non-profit organization working to make life better for all people affected by Tourette and Tic Disorders. They offer resources and referrals to help people and their families cope with the problems that occur with TS, and raise public awareness and counter media stereotypes about the disorder.
“Blaise has demonstrated what it means to be successful. He has grown dramatically in his time at High School West, and always conducts himself in a respectful manner. Everyone at High School West is proud of Blaise for being selected for this outstanding recognition,” stated Catapano.
Blaise’s mother, Janice Urato, credits Half Hollow Hills with being instrumental in her son’s growth and journey that has lead him to becoming an ambassador for this important event. “All of Blaise’s teachers, from elementary to high school, have motivated him and encouraged him to be the best he can be,” his mother said. “It is due to their support that he can tackle challenges and work hard to reach his potential.”
For more information about the Tourette Association’s 2018 National Awareness 5K Run/Walk, please visit their website at http://www.tourette.org/blogs/events/national-awareness-walk/.