Proud Londonderry mum Gemma Donnell managed to raise over £500 for a new charity dedicated to raising awareness of the much misunderstood Tourette’s syndrome, which has affected her wee boy, Aaron, for the past three years.
Gemma, who raised the money though a coffee morning in the YMCA in Drumahoe at the end of last month has donated the money to the Tourette Alliance, which holds its first major conference in Northern Ireland in Lisburn this weekend.
She explained how she was inspired to undertake the fundraising drive out of her own experience as a mother.
“I’m a mum of three,” explained Gemma.
“My middle boy Aaron was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome at the age of five.
“He’s now eight, after displaying tics from the age of three.”
The Tourette Alliance is committed to improving the lives of all of those affected by the syndrome and by tic disorders.
The syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder and while a lifelong condition it can lessen in adulthood.
One in every 100 school children are believed to have Tourette’s syndrome or a tic disorder.
And it’s three times more common in boys than in girls.
“On Saturday, July 30, I held a coffee morning at the YMCA Drumahoe between 10am and 12noon on behalf of the Tourette Alliance,” said Gemma.
“It’s a brand new organisation launched in April, that was set up to help bring more awareness and education about Tourette syndrome in Northern Ireland as it’s a very misunderstood condition. They are holding their very first conference on Friday, August 5, and Saturday, August 6, in Lisburn, where speakers from the United States and England will be attending.
“On the morning we raised a total of £535, which is amazing,” the proud Tullyally mother concluded.