Host Chelsea White Takes the Stage By Tiffanie L. Galan
On Monday June 5th, 2017 the Tourette Association of America sponsored a comedy show at Gotham Comedy Club in Manhattan; a slew of comedians from popular channels like Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1 came together to not only crack jokes, but to raise money for the highly stigmatized and misunderstood Tourette Syndrome community.
Chelsea White, comedian and producer of MTV's Girl Code, hosted the event. She served up a great deal of laughs with a vibrant energy, and an equally vibrant top. Chelsea is also a member of the Tourette Association and has Tourette Syndrome. She encouraged everyone in the audience to purchase raffle tickets to win a variety of prizes, from baskets of wines and soaps to jewelry to tickets for exciting trips.
"All the proceeds from the show benefit the services the NYC chapter of the Tourette Association offer to people with Tourette and their families in the NYC area, including our free educational inservice program 'One Tic at a Time,' by which trained volunteers go into schools to educate administrators, faculty and students about Tourette's," says Ms. White.
The Tourette Association hosts the comedy show annually and has done so since 2010. Aside from that, they also host a Mentoring Volunteer Brunch family event every fall, which not only raises money for the chapter, but helps to bring those in the community together and spreads awareness to those outside of it. A common misconception about
Tourette Syndrome is that it is a swearing disease. Chelsea wants people to know that it is so much more than that. It is a neurological disorder that forces involuntary vocal and motor tics.
"No two people with Tourette look or act the same. It manifests itself so differently in every person and so it's important to understand that each person living with Tourettes is dealing with their own unique obstacles... Tourette does not affect intelligence! People with Tourette are some of the most intelligent and creative people I've ever met."
White encourages those with Tourette Syndrome to raise awareness by educating others and correcting those who perpetuate the stereotypes against the afflicted.
"Putting a face to the disorder is always helpful... See if you have a local Tourette Association chapter you can volunteer with- or start your own local group."
For more information about Tourette and upcoming events in New York, check out the Tourette Association website, tsa-nyc.org.