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Muskoka to host Trek for Tourette March 24

Gravenhurst is one of eight Ontario communities to host fund-raising event
The 11th annual Trek for Tourette will be held March 24 in Gravenhurst. Submitted photo

MUSKOKA - The 11th Annual Trek for Tourette will see hundreds of people from communities across Canada putting their feet down to support Tourette Canada in its annual 5-kilometre walk to raise awareness for Tourette Syndrome.

On Sunday, March 24, 2019, Canadians from all walks of life will be trekking – rain, snow, sleet or shine – to generate much-needed donations and to bring awareness to Tourette Syndrome (TS), a poorly understood, heavily stigmatized neurological disorder that affects as many as one in 100 Canadian children and adults. It currently has no cure.

Trek locations include the regions of: Muskoka, Waterloo-Wellington, West Grey-Ayton, Hamilton, Halton, Niagara, London, and Ottawa.

“Tourette Canada was there for my family and I, and helped us tremendously when my children were diagnosed,” says Janet Rumsey, Pres. of the Board of Directors and a mother of four boys with TS who also has Tourette Syndrome herself.

“The funds raised through Trek for Tourette will help the organization help other families as they did mine.”

“With more than one in 50 kids being diagnosed with TS and/or one of its associated disorders like OCD and ADHD - not to mention other conditions like anxiety and rage disorders—it’s time we as a nation recognize that neurological disorders are mainstream and growing rapidly in the frequency of their diagnosis.”

Trek for Tourette is held in March, a wintry month, in order to be “as challenging as the lives of people affected by Tourette Syndrome, with the weather as unpredictable as the disorder itself.”

Each year sees hundreds of ‘trekkers’ come together, wearing signature green toques and other green clothing on a day that averages single digits in some parts of the country, with potential weather ranging from rain to snow to sunshine.

Participants trek through chilly community parks, along walking trails and down neighbourhood streets in support of the need for enhanced education, awareness and acceptance.

Last year, the Trek raised $91,000. This year the fundraising goal has been raised to $100,000.

For over 43 years Tourette Canada has battled against widespread myths, misconceptions and ignorance surrounding TS through support programs and public awareness campaigns. 

Tourette Canada saw a need for support in more rural and underserviced regions and has increased its virtual support platform to offer virtual support groups for adults living with TS, parents/caregivers and youth.