Friends at Camp Twitch
by Ann van Engelen photos Steve Bone Photography
The families who attended Camp Twitch caught up with old friends and made new connections during the week-long event at Living Springs.
“There were about 87 people at camp, all from families living with someone with Tourette’s Syndrome and the children had a great time,” says attendee Catherine McHaffie.
Families travelled from across the country thanks to Catherine’s Zumba Fundraiser, which raised $2,686 and other major sponsors and fundraisers.
“My son Michael had a blast. It was our first camp, but everyone was so welcoming, and he made friends extremely quickly. Camp is the biggest event on the Tourette’s Association calendar, and then we organise meetups like bowling days for families to stay in touch and become family.
“Fundraising is important. Otherwise, it is unachievable to attend due to the expenses that come with Tourette’s as there is not a lot of funding available. Steve Bone was an amazing photographer who donated his time to give us memorable photos. One highlight was a visiting police officer who has the syndrome. He was an inspiration explaining you can achieve successful careers with coping mechanisms you can learn. They get a feeling preceding a tic, like someone getting a migraine. There are ways to let it out less noticeably. His motto is: let your tic out as it is part of who you are and be proud.
“People shared stories of hard times, and we learnt from each other.
Someone sponsored ukuleles for the children to take home as concentrating on music or sport really helps. They almost don’t have tics when they are doing these activities.
“Our ultimate goal is to have camps all year round to give respite. Michael came away feeling 100 per cent normal as he has never met anyone else with the syndrome. They talked, laughed and made fun of each other, it was so normal for them, and everyone understood. I thought Michael would benefit the most from camp, but I did too, it was very humbling.”