SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Spotswood Police Department and the Spotswood PBA Local 225 is partnering with Nicholas' Trek with Tourettes to host a walk on Saturday, May 18 at 11 a.m. The walk will begin from the Immaculate Conception Church parking lot on Manalapan Road and conclude at Helmetta's Maple Street Pavilion. Participants will enjoy refreshments and music at the pavilion to celebrate Spotswood native Nicholas DeLieto's goal to raise raise awareness about Tourettes and the disorders that often accompany it.
The Appleby School fourth grader spearheaded Nicholas' Trek with Tourettes last year, raising more than $2500 for the 2018 New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders' virtual walk. This year DeLieto set a goal to reach $3000 for the 2019 walk. To date, he's raised $2180.
"They (the SPD and PBA) have sponsored Nicholas this year because they advocated for him last year and have been following his journey and seeing how far he has gotten in spreading the word about Tourettes and making teachers aware and educating people," explained Nicholas' mom Ashley DeLieto. "So they wanted to jump on board and continue helping him by hosting a walk to celebrate his accomplishments."
Patrolman Michael Genovese has been working with the DeLieto family to put together the May 18 walk.
"We will be escorted by the Spotswood Police Department all the way to the Helmetta Pavilion," DeLieto continued.
Participants can walk or run the distance. Event t-shirts can be purchased through the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders for $25.
"All of the proceeds from purchasing the shirt also goes to Nicholas' goal in fundraising money," DeLieto said.
Shirts will also be available for purchase prior to the May 18 walk.
Nicholas and East Brunswick High School graduate Amanda Silvers will speak about the NJCTS before the walk. Silvers, whose mother Barbara is a longtime kindergarten teacher at the Schoenly School, was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of five like DeLieto. She helps to mentor kids like Nicholas who suffer from Tourettes to show them they are not alone in their struggles.
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.
Additional details about the May 18 walk will become available as the event come closer. Recently, the Spotswood High School girls varsity basketball team donated all of the proceeds from their annual charity game to Nicholas' Trek with Tourettes. For additional information on Nicholas and his goal, visit his webpage.