The McHaffie family are fundraising to help people living with Tourette’s syndrome attend Camp Twitch

Establishing Tourette’s networks

by Ann van Engelen

Families affected by Tourette’s syndrome are joining together with community members to help others attend Camp Twitch run by the Tourette’s Association of NZ.

“Our family recently discovered our eight-year-old son Michael has the condition and the Tourette’s Association has been a wonderful support since our diagnosis,” says organisation member Catherine McHaffie.

“This is a rare condition, and I feel a lot less naive being involved in the organisation. It is run by Robyn Twemlow right here in Lincoln, and they offer guidance, information and organise camps like Camp Twitch. We will be attending camp for the first time, and Michael is looking forward to meeting other children with the syndrome, as he is the only one at his school with Tourette’s.”

There is not much funding available for Tourette’s syndrome, so Catherine is holding a Zumba event to subsidise the camp fees for families attending.

“I am an instructor and friends in the industry are helping. There will be glow sticks, raffles and other activities. Businesses have contributed awesome products such as a dinner for two, Oamaru carved stone, fudge and handmade soy candles. The camp starts September 30 and children can bring friends and family along. We are excited to help subsidise camp fees, especially with all the specialist and physiotherapy fees that families personally pay for — the last thing they need is more costs.”

The Give a Tic Zumba fundraiser is $10 a person at West Rolleston Primary School this Saturday, August 31 — doors open at 6.30pm.

For more information, go to the Tourette’s Association NZ Fundraiser Facebook page or to help a family attend camp, go to