Meet Gianni: student, athlete, singer and actor!

Brad interviews Gianni from Aston, PA

B: How old are you and how long have you had TS?

G: I’m 10 and I’ve had tics since I was at least 4. My parents thought they were nervous habits until I was diagnosed when I was 9.

B: What kinds of symptoms do you have?

G: My tics change from day to day. I have vocal and motor tics like rolling and twitching my eyes and making funny sounds. I’ve had tics like not being able to stop slamming my drinking glass on the table or tapping the walls a certain number of times. I’ve had head jerks and arm movements and lots of others. But they haven’t stopped me from doing what I love.

B: What is the hardest thing about living with Tourette Syndrome?

G: I think not being able to control myself in certain instances. Like blurting out something and I have to wait to say what I want until it stops.

B: What advice can you give other kids who are newly diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome?

G: Don’t let TS control you. Don’t let it make you sad or mad. Because you are like any other normal kid. TS doesn’t change who you are.

B: Tell us about your successes and what you love to do?

G: I love baseball. I play and watch baseball. And I love to sing and act. I love the intensity of baseball. Running and hitting and using my skills. I also have a good voice. My mom told me that when you are blessed with a talent you should share it. I’m involved with local theatre (the Media Theatre in Media, PA) and play the saxaphone too. I even like school. I’m a very good student and I enjoy learning new things and reading. Plus I look forward to being with my friends every day at school.

B: Who do you most admire and why?

G: I really admire Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies. I’ve met him and heard him speak. He dedicates a lot of time to charitable work and is an intense player on the field. He never gives up whether he’s batting or fielding.

B: What would you like most to accomplish?

G: I’d love to learn Italian and go to Italy where my father was born. I’m going to start studying soon.

Hanging out with the “Brads”

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he “real” Brad Cohen and his alter ego, James Wolk, who portrayed Brad in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Front of the Class joined the fun as camp counselors at this year’s Camp Twitch and Shout in Georgia.

Friends since the movie was produced in 2008, both Brad and James have committed themselves to helping kids with TS take some time off and be together  at camps like Twitch and Shout.

James Wolk has attended the last two camps and is a member of the BCTF board.  His portrayal of Brad in the movie was critically acclaimed and he can be seen on television and in the movie theaters this month starring in his own TV show on Fox as well as in a movie with Betty White, Sigorney Weaver and Jaime Lee Curtis.

Caruso middle school raises over $10,000

Who says a bunch of teenagers can’t make a difference?  Led by teacher, Julie Witczak, the students at Caruso Middle School (located in Deerfield, IL just outside of Chicago) decided to raise money for the BCTF to help support Camp Twitch and Shout.  They had numerous fundraisers throughout a 3 week period including a raffle for a HP laptop, a penny war, dress up days, T-shirt sales and more.  My brother Jeff stopped by and spoke at an all school assembly and motivated the group. Also at the assembly was a short video from me, a clip from my movie Front of the Class, and a viewing of a 5 minute video from the camp.  Jeff returned three weeks later to pick up the check on behalf of me and the foundation. Great job Caruso students……just know you are making a difference! See picture of the group with Jeff above.

Click here to read the article in the local Deerfield Newspaper.

If other schools are interested in watching Front of the Class and then do some fundraising for the Foundation, please let us know.