Kate

Kate

Trekking for Tourette in Langford

Sooke family leads awareness walk on Sunday

For parents Darek and Kate Andrzejewski, experiencing Tourette syndrome happens every day. Their 10-year-old son, Mikey, has the neurological disorder.

“When you find out your child has Tourette it can be devastating,” Kate said.

“People stay in the dark, they don’t want other people to find out, so they stay home,” Darek added. “They think people are going to laugh at their kid.”

The Sooke couple offered to organize this year’s five-kilometre Trek for Tourette fundraiser for Greater Victoria. This is the first time it is being held in Langford. Previously it was held in Broadmead Village in Saanich.

“We choice Langford because this is where the families are,” Kate said. “We will be visible here.”

All across Canada, communities are hosting Trek for Tourette fundraisers on March 27. This is the third national fundraiser for the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada.

Mikey’s parents want to find him a few friends he could relate to. “Mikey came up to me and said he wants a 10-year-old boy with Tourette to talk with to ‘so he’ll know what I am talking about,’” Kate said.

Over the years, Darek and Kate have developed a support network for their family through friends, teachers and coaches. They want to help other families develop support systems and say participating in the Trek for Tourette is a great way to network.

“Mikey has Tourette, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), anxiety and difficulty sleeping,” Kate added explaining these are common issues among people with Tourette. “But he’s got a great imagination.”

The family started noticing Mikey was showing signs of Tourette when he was five with vocal tics. His parents remember them as little screeches.

Kate said it’s uncommon for children to be diagnosed before they are seven years old. The syndrome peaks when kids are between nine and 13.

Some of Mikey’s tics are vocal tics including words and noises, motor tics that include facial grimaces and dystonic tics where his muscles can lock up and he is unable to move.

“A person with Tourette has no control, but full knowledge, of what they are doing,” Darek said.

While there are numerous types of tics associated with Tourette, coprolalia (uncontrollable cursing) is commonly known as a sign, but in reality it’s an uncommon symptom.

“One in a hundred people will have Tourette and of those people only 10 per cent will have coprolalia,” Kate said.

Even though some tics can be disruptive to others, Mikey’s parents say when someone who has Tourette is stressed out they tic more. When others point out or draw attention to tics, they will get worse.

“Some people don’t understand and try to punish them,” Darek said. “Kids think it’s funny. I spoke to someone before and said, ‘you wouldn’t laugh at someone with Down syndrome.’”

Mikey doesn’t let his challenges stop him from living his life. He plays on a basketball team and plays piano in his spare time.

“We don’t want Tourette or anxiety stop him from having a happy life,” Kate said.

This five-kilometre loop starts at Frontrunners, 755 Goldstream Ave. The trek carries on to Peatt Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway, Kelly Road to Phipps Road and back to Peatt Road.

Registration is 1 p.m. on  March 27, at Frontrunners. The trek starts at 2 p.m. For more information go to www.tourette.ca.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

Sidney has moved the remaining parts of its public consultation phase part of the Official Community Plan online. (Black Press Media File)
Sidney moves to an ‘all online engagement’ process for OCP

Staff says OCP charrette scheduled for mid-February

(File photo)
‘Very lucky’: Two passengers, dog escape rollover crash in Saanich unscathed

Vehicle flips on Trans Canada Highway after hitting median, possibly due to ice, firefighter says

The large metal gate stolen from Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich on Jan. 18 reappeared less than a week later. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Large metal gate stolen from Saanich farm makes mysterious reappearance

12-foot gate returned to Muddy Valley Farm less than a week after it was stolen

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read