A COMMITTED VOLUNTEER
Through its #TheGivingEffect campaign and to improve the lives of youth where we live, TELUS asked its Facebook fans to share their inspiring volunteer initiatives in return for a chance to win $5,000 for a charity of their choice. Of all the responses, we were especially touched and inspired by Isabelle Tremblay’s story. She is an active board member at the Association québécoise du syndrome de la Tourette (AQST – Quebec’s Tourette’s syndrome association) and the mother of a 10-year-old boy with Tourette’s syndrome. We decided to give the $5,000 to the AQST.
WHAT IS TOURETTE’S SYNDROME?
Tourette’s syndrome (also called TS) affects between 0.8% and 5% of Quebec’s youth. This hereditary neuromotor disorder emerges around six years of age and is often triggered by a particularly stressful event. It is characterized by:
- Motor tics: eye blinking, grimacing, body movements,
- Vocal tics: oral or nasal sounds, inappropriate vocalizations,
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviour,
- Temper tantrums.
WHAT DOES THE AQST DO?
Founded in the 1990s, the Association québécoise du syndrome de la Tourette* is a non-profit organization that relies on a team of volunteers and a part-time coordinator to fulfill its mission. In short, they use their very limited means to do great things in support of children and families dealing with the many challenges of the syndrome. Despite all their efforts, however, awareness of the AQST remains limited outside the group of families that use their services.
A decade ago, the organization created Camp Scarabée (beetle camp) for 8- to 17-year-old children with TS. The camp gives these often-ostracized kids the chance to socialize freely, while also providing some respite for parents. We hope you will be inspired by what motivates Isabelle to give back to her community. We believe that every act of giving inspires another, so perhaps #TheGivingEffect will eventually be paid forward to you.
*The AQST receives very few grants and would definitely benefit from additional assistance. Tourette’s syndrome is still highly misunderstood.