SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Each season the Spotswood High School girls varisity basketball team dedicates one of their remaining home games to a different charity. This year the team is hitting the court on February 4 to help Appleby Elementary fourth grader Nicholas DeLieto in his very personal quest. The soon-to-be 10 year old has spearheaded Nicholas' Trek with Tourettes, partnering with the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders. The NJCTS helps raise awareness about Tourettes and the disorders that often accompany it as well as offering support to families struggling with Tourettes in addition to funding research. All of the proceeds from the Chargers February 4 game will go to support Nicholas' Trek with Tourettes.
Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder that is accompanied by involuntary movements and sounds defined as tics. Dr. George Gilles de la Tourette was a French neurologist for whom the disorder is named after. Gilles de la Tourette diagnoised an elderly French woman with the symptoms in 1885. Tourettes typically affects males more than females with symptoms manifesting themselves before the child turns 18. The disorder impacts one in 100 children and adults. Individuals with Tourettes often struggle with associated disorders such as ADD/ADHA, OCD, depression, anxiety, sleep issues and mood disorders. Many children with Tourettes are misunderstood and face bullying issues in school which often leads to school phobias.
DeLieto was diagnoised with Tourettes five years ago and currently battles several of the disorders associated with Tourettes. He and his family found out about the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders from a former teacher. The Spotswood resident began his trek last year when he and his family participated in the NJCTS' spring Virtual Walk. He and his family raised more than $2,500 for the cause and are embarking on another trek for 2019. This year's DeLieto's goal is to raise $3,000.
To goal of NJCTS' Virtual Walk is to raise awareness about Tourettes and the kids, teens, adults and families who face a daily struggle with the disorder. The virtual walk encourages children and adults with Tourettes and other tic disorders along with their families to partner up for a walk, run or special family activity to help raise awareness about the disorder with many settling up donation pages. Last spring the DeLieto family sported matching t-shirts as they went for a bike ride, attended an antique car show and even planted a tree for Nicholas. His entire family, including parents Ashley and Alan, brother Xander and sister Abby along with Nicholas' grandparents, are involved in the cause.
Spotswood High School girls varsity basketball coach and Memorial Middle School Physical Education teacher Vin Vizzi wanted to get on board to help with Nicholas' cause which is why this year's charity game will benefit Nicholas' Trek with Tourettes. The longtime borough resident approached DeLieto's mom about having the February 4 charity game benefit Nicholas' Trek with Tourettes.
Tipoff is at 6 p.m. at the Spotswood High School Gymnasium on Monday, February 4. The Chargers will take on JP Stevens High School on the court. Tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for seniors. Students without ID will be asked to pay $2. Children are free. The charity game will also feature a 50/50 raffle. All of the proceeds will go directly to Nicholas' Trek with Tourettes.
Individuals unable to make the February 4 game can still donate to the cause by going to the Nicholas' Trek with Tourette's webpage. For additional information on the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders and the oranization's Walk for TS 2019, visit their website.