Monday, September 12, 2011
Today I met Marc Elliot when he came to my school to speak. I absolutely loved his speech! He was so funny and I found myself laughing more than I ever have in our school assembly hall. For those of you who don't know, Marc Elliot travels around the US hopeing to teach tolerance and acceptance by speaking openly about his own personal struggles in life: Hertzsprung Disease and Tourette's Syndrome. His speech was so inspirational and I cannot express how much I enjoyed it. I really think that anyone can find meaning in his speech, whether or not they have Tourette's. After the speech I had to opportunity to skip a bit of math class and meet Marc! A lot of other students came to meet him as well and my friends Tie Dye Socks and Steam Punk accompanied me for moral support and to meet him as well (they're really the best). I had pretty much no intention of doing anything more than telling him my name, shaking his hand, and saying that I enjoyed his speech but in the spur of the moment spoke up, told him that I too had Tourette's, and that it was so cool to hear him speak about it. I couldn't really believe that I did this, because even though a majority of my friends know that I have Tourette's there were many people in the room who didn't even know me. I was so nervous that I was practically shaking but when I told Marc that I had Tourette's too, his face lit up and he immediately said that he had to give me a hug. He came over and gave me a hug with a big smile on his face , asked me how I was getting along in high school, and said he hoped that his speech helped. Before I left to go back to class, he shook my hand once again and told me that he really respected me for speaking up in front of the group. I couldn't believe it, Marc Elliot, a guy who has been dealing will Tourette's his whole life and went around the country speaking about his challenges told me that he respected me. I cannot express how much this made my day. I will be relishing in that moment for quite some time. Marc Elliot was truly my hero today because he gave me the confidence to speak up about my Tourettes openly for pretty much the first time. I felt like I was part of some special club, like there was something that really connected me to Marc Elliot and all those others with Tourettes. I felt so happy and I have been smiling all day. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Mark Elliot. I feel more confident about having Tourettes than I ever have and I feel so proud of myself for opening up like that. Tie Dye Socks told me it will get easier and easier every time I talk about it and tell people my story and I look back at earlier today as that beginning to things getting easier.